A RELIGIOUS education teacher is alleged to have inappropriately touched a teenage girl, a court was told.

Michael Page, 40, is alleged to have carried out the act on four different occasions.

After the girl complained about his actions, police went to Page's Southampton home. They seized his computer on which they found indecent images of other girls, Southampton Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Andy Houston said that the teenager had been through a "tough year" making her particularly "vulnerable" when the offences happened.

When she had an appointment at a clinic to discuss her problems she told Page about it, and that evening he contacted her on MSN, an Internet messaging service.

The conversation began, said Mr Houston, in an "anodyne way" with him asking about her appointment but 25 minutes later he had started talking about himself, confessing he had failed French A level and how he had been a lazy and terrible student and how he got the cane.

The lawyer then outlined how Page had inappropriately touched the girl the following day.

"The girl says she sat there in silence, in a degree of shock at what was happening."

Page then asked the teenager if the touching had made her uncomfortable and apologised for doing the wrong thing as it had been selfish. He then told her: "I'm so attracted to you."

Mr Houston said Page contacted the girl later that evening and told her in a conversation: "I wish I had kissed you earlier today."

In interview, Page told police he had never touched the girl but had been concerned about her.

He admitted he had struggled over the years looking at porn on the Internet but did not know how the images got onto his computer.

Page, of Avon Road, Bitterne Park, denies four charges of an abuse of trust by having sexual activity, ten charges of making indecent images and one of possessing indecent images.