The accused's lawyer, Mr Roy Grenville Neighbour, pleaded for leniency and asked for a sentence at the "lower end" of the sentencing scale.

While admitting that his client had made a serious error of judgment, he said he found it hard to believe that the couple's relationship kick-started the victim's mental problems.

Mr Neighbour said: "She was not deceived into the relationship and knew all along that the accused was engaged and would soon be getting married."

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy disagreed, saying the accused had abused his position as a teacher.

She said that as a scholar and an adult, he knew what was right and wrong, and he knew his acts were wrong.