A FEMALE PE teacher groomed a girl with sweets, groped her in the changing room and regularly sexually assaulted her, a court heard.

Carly Dear from Thatcham, West Berkshire, denies seven charges of sexual abuse for historic allegations for when she was a serving teacher in Maidstone.

The 46-year-old is said to have believed she was in a relationship with the girl and would text "love you" to her phone.

The alleged victim claims that when she said she was going to the police, Dear 'panicked' and sent her roughly around £10,000.

Prosecutor Gary Venturi said: "You will hear quite quickly a special relationship was started, sweets were being given, as was extra support."

Dear would gradually touch the girl in increasingly abusive ways, first groping her in changing rooms until eventually coaxing her to her Whitstable home, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

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He added: "She started to inappropriately touch the girl in the school changing rooms - not something that can be mistaken for a friendly hug or a tap of encouragement.

"She proceeded to touch her in any way she wanted and abused her."

Dear denied any wrongdoing following her arrest, the court heard.

But her victim told detectives she was subjected to a terrifying ordeal as Dear's "spiralling" breach of trust unfolded.

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After the girl suffered an injury, Dear handed over her mobile number suggesting she saved it "as Misty because it sounded like Miss D," she told officers.

Dear would call her "all the time", text "love you", and send "this strange symbol that was like a hug," she told police, according to the prosecutor.

"She was like, 'Don't ever leave me unless you give me a hug, because what if something happened?' "It was such an intense hug - she just would not let me go," she said.

The girl described Dear carrying out increasingly lurid acts at her home and in hotels, increasing in severity, which eventually led to her being sexually assaulted "a lot for years."

Meanwhile, Dear would force the girl to hide inside her car to keep away from prying eyes during journeys.

"The sexual stuff got worse and worse, she would be like 'I can't wait for you to come around again," she said.

"I remember shutting myself in the shower and thinking 'I don't want to go out'."

After starting university Dear "kept hounding her", she travelled hundreds of miles to the girl's campus and locked her in a hotel room in a bid to perform sexual acts, she added..

But when she said she was going to the police, Dear "panicked" and would send her around £10,000.

"Do you think she thought she was in a relationship with you?" The officer asked.

"I think so, yes," she replied.

Dear, who now lives in Thatcham, Berkshire, denies five counts of indecent assault, one count of abusing a position of trust and inciting sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 17.

The trial continues.