A SCHOOL worker and cricket club captain has been jailed for two years after he admitted having sex with a student.

Lee Dixon, 31, who played for Boughton Hall Cricket Club in Chester as well as the county team, pleaded guilty to breaching a position of trust by having relations with a 17-year-old.

Chester Crown Court heard he had initially bumped into her in the city’s Cruise nightclub after breaking up with his partner.

The pair kissed and he touched her intimately in a secluded booth after which they had sex twice over the next few weeks.

When rumours began circulating among pupils, the school launched an investigation which later involved the local authority and police.

In an “act of blind panic” Dixon then pleaded with the student to “downplay” the sexual activity and tell officials they only indulged in “heavy petting”.

The girl initially withheld certain details but when the investigation was resurrected the following month she gave a full account of what happened.

Dixon, formerly of Dale Street in Boughton, Chester but now living at Flail Close, Greasby, Wirral, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust, and to one charge of perverting the course of justice.

Visibly agitated in the dock and with his father sitting at the back of the court room, he hung his head when Judge Patrick Thompson told him the custodial sentence would be immediate.

The judge said a clear message must be sent out to the public in such cases.

“Parents need to have trust in teachers,” he said. “They are giving schools the most precious thing they have in the world – their children.”

Outlining the case, prosecutor Kevin Jones told the court the pair had met by chance at Cruise on St John Street, Chester.

Dixon had never taught the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but was aware she was in the sixth form which put her age at either 17 or 18.

The complainant knew Dixon was a staff member at the school and called him ‘Sir’ as they chatted at the bar.

Kissing and sexual activity then took place in a booth at the club, but she refused to accompany the defendant home.

The next morning he sent her photographs of his naked chest, with a message that read: “At least you know what’s under the suit.”

A week later they arranged to meet after he won a cricket competition and he picked her up in his car before taking her to his home.

Mr Jones told the court Dixon asked her to tell his housemates they had met on mobile dating app Tinder rather than at school. The pair then had sex in his bedroom.

The relationship cooled off, by which time rumours were flying around at school, but a week later the girl called Dixon asking for a lift home as it was raining.

He obliged and took her to his brother’s house, which he knew would be empty, and they again had sex.

By September the school had begun asking questions and Dixon called the complainant from a phone box asking her to “downplay” the incident, Mr Jones said.

The police interviewed him in October  but it was decided no further action would be taken.

However, the following month the school re-opened the investigation and Dixon again contacted the girl asking her not to divulge full details. This time she went against his wishes and made “full disclosure”.

Dixon was then arrested.

The court heard Dixon had now been sacked by the school and no longer worked as a coach for the children’s and women’s teams at Boughton Hall CC.

Gareth Roberts, defending, told the court: “He has lost absolutely everything. He’s lost his job, he’s lost his home and he’s lost his reputation.

“He stands before this court today thoroughly ashamed, embarrassed and remorseful.”

A total of 11 glowing character references were passed to the judge in which Dixon was praised for his “integrity, honesty and loyalty”.

The court heard Dixon came from a “caring and loving family” and had carried out a lot of charity work.

Mr Roberts said there was no suggestion Dixon had groomed the student and that all three sexual encounters had been “entirely consensual”.

Dixon “bitterly regrets” trying to get her to change her story but had made no threats towards her, the barrister said.

Mr Roberts urged the judge to suspend the prison sentence as immediate custody would mean the defendant could not take up a promising new job in the building industry.

But Judge Thompson said Dixon had breached a “huge degree of responsibility and trust” and had to be jailed.

Once released, Dixon must sign the sex offenders register for a period of 10 years.