Teacher assaulted student at Bryan Adams concert after recreating album cover with her, court heard

A student at a Catholic girls’ school secretly recreated a Bryan Adams album cover with her teacher before later sexually assaulting him at one of Adams’ concerts, a court has heard.

The girl wore scarlet nail polish and put her hands on Professor Philip McDermott’s face in homage to the suggestive image on the front of the ‘Get Up’ record.

McDermott, now 59, later sexually assaulted the girl, then 15, at a Bryan Adams concert at Sandown Park Racecourse, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

The incidents happened in 2016, but the alleged victim said she didn’t report McDermott until years later because she was in ‘big black pits of shame’ and thought it was her fault .

“When I told my boyfriend about it, I said I still thought he was a good person,” the girl said. “I didn’t realize I had been manipulated and out of control.”

“I had to do a lot of therapy and my sister was still in school. I wanted her to finish her GCSE before throwing in the iceberg.

Teacher Philip McDermott, of Sydenham, (pictured) is accused of grooming a 15-year-old pupil by emailing Bryan Adams lyrics before recreating the cover of the rocker’s Get Up album

The court had previously heard the pupil claim that McDermott, who had taught her at a London school, groomed her and sexually assaulted her “repeatedly”.

The teenager, who had a Catholic upbringing, had approached her teacher for help on how to pray, and a physical relationship started with quiet touches but progressed into the empty classroom after school hours , the court said.

Giving evidence through a recorded interview, she described how grooming started in after-school study clubs and “got alienated” through email exchanges.

“A lot of the emails were about Bryan Adams,” she said. “The lyrics were very romantic, like Everything I do, I do for you.

“There was also a song called Darklands by The Jesus and Mary Chain that he said I should listen to. He told me at the time that it was a sex song.

“We sent lyrics to each other about what we wanted to do to the other person.

“There was If You Wanna Be Bad You Gotta Be Good… he would sometimes play that in class and dance to it and You Belong To Me.

“And then there was an album, with Bryan Adams on the cover and a woman with red fingernails on her face. We reenacted this in class. He said “oh, it’s like us”. It makes me a little sick now.

The pupil told police she recreated this <a class=album cover with McDermott after saying it was them and the thought of it now made her sick, an Isleworth Crown Court jury heard.” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

The pupil told police she recreated this album cover with McDermott after saying it was them and the thought of it now made her sick, an Isleworth Crown Court jury heard.

She also described how, in their email exchanges, their language became more sexualized.

“But innocently sexualized, because I was only 15. This sexuality was forced on me when I wasn’t ready.”

They also shared stories about sexual fantasies, something she said was common among other teens as a way to express their sexual angst.

An example went: ‘There was one in a bathtub on a mountain. I was in the tub and he came up behind me. He started touching me and then we had sex…’

She also knew her computer password and regularly deleted emails for fear that their explicit sexual language would be discovered.

They also talked about getting together after she left school with him joking that she should stay at the hotel with him.

After a pub lunch he paid for, McDermott took the girl to a nearby park.

The girl described how McDermott touched her sexually when she didn’t expect it, then asked him to do the same.

Philip McDermott, 59, denies a series of sex offenses including sexual activity with a child

Philip McDermott, 59, denies a series of sex offenses including sexual activity with a child

“It’s a memory I couldn’t get out of my head,” the girl said before holding her face in her hands and crying.

“I just remember seeing him there. It affects my relationships today because I’m afraid of it.

“This visual image is not something I can get out of my head.”

Years later, after graduating from high school and college, she saw McDermott at a networking event.

She also heard it at her old school when she went to talk about her career to the next generation of students.

“I didn’t see him or speak to him, I just heard his voice.

“I had to filter what I said to someone because I didn’t want them to know what I was doing or where I was in case they came looking for me.”

The court had previously heard that McDermott met the girl at a Bryan Adams concert at Sandown Park Racecourse in August 2016, where prosecutors said he intimately touched the student during the concert.

McDermott, of Westwood Hill, Crystal Palace, denies six counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of soliciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one count of soliciting a child to engage in sexual activity sexual activity and one count of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust, between 2013 and 2017.

The trial continues.

About Elizabeth J. Swartz

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