Married teacher, 35, sexually assaulted schoolgirl during 15-month affair

A "meek and mild" math teacher has been jailed after she admitted sexually touching a schoolgirl in the back of her car as part of a 15-month "affair," a court has heard.

Aimee Jones, 35, head of science and maths at her school in Darlington, County Durham, initially approached her victim at school and told the teenager she was bisexual and that she was "having feelings of attraction towards her," Teesside Crown Court heard.

The pair then began texting in a "chatty, polite and pleasant" manner. However, the messages made clear that Jones was interested in her victim.

Appearing at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court last month, Jones admitted four counts of abusing a position of trust by engaging in sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 17 being cared for in school premises. This related to at least eight occasions.

Teesside Crown Court heard how months after the initial contact, the pair met at the park and would hold hands.

Jon Harley, prosecuting, said: "The couple went on to walk in the more remote parts of the park or sit in the rear of Ms Jones car. They kissed, they embraced and on one occasion they both removed their upper clothing and were naked from the waist up."

"This was always accompanied by, what is described as, intense pre and post texting with Ms Jones acknowledging that what she was doing was wrong and taking risks.

"The pattern continued… and during this time Ms Jones continued to teach her victim and the abuse – the affair as it were – came to light when Ms Jones's husband began to suspect his wife was having an extra-marital affair."

The court heard that at first Jones, who has a young son, admitted having an affair but claimed it was with a female teaching assistant at the Darlington school.

The 35-year-old then attempted to persuade the school to pretend there was a fictitious teaching assistant at the school to deter her husband – although it was accepted this was not to hinder the police investigation.

The court heard that initially Jones and her husband stayed together but when the full extent of the affair came to light he did report it.

Jones, of Richmond, North Yorkshire, also contacted her victim and told her she must tell the police everything before she was met by officers and arrested on arriving at school.

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A victim impact statement from the schoolgirl's family, which was written earlier this year, said: "She is in no doubt in her mind that they were in love and would have preferred it to have continued.

"However after numerous discussions, she is aware it is something that should not have happened in the first place."

Judge Chris Smith heard that Jones expressed "genuine remorse."

Defending, Mr Mochrie, added: "She takes this very seriously and has punished herself again and again and again."

The court heard that the mother-of-one would never teach again but a sexual harm prevention order would not be made.

Sentencing Jones to eight months in prison for the four charges, Judge Smith said: "Every parent who sends their child to school expects them to be kept safe by those in to whose care they entrust their child."

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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