Teaching assistant, from Kineton, warned of jail term

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A disgraced teaching assistant at a Warwickshire school has been warned she is likely to be jailed after having a brief sexual relationship with a 15-year-old pupil.

Jill Meldrum-Jones, who was suspended from her job at the unnamed school after the incidents came to light, appeared at Warwick Crown Court charged with offences against two boys.

In relation to the first boy, who was aged 15 at the time, she pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual activity with a child on four consecutive days.

Meldrum-Jones, 37, of Gardiner Road, Kineton, also pleaded guilty to two charges of causing or inciting him to engage in sexual activity.

The offences are said to have taken place during a school trip last year.

But she denied a further charge alleging that she had sexually assaulted another 15-year-old in February this year by touching and squeezing his thigh.

Prosecutor Stefan Kolodynski asked for time for the Crown to consider whether to ask for a trial on that charge.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano agreed, but commented: “She has pleaded guilty to by far the most serious part of this matter. It is difficult to see how a trial could be in anyone’s interest.”

At the request of Daniel Oscroft, defending, she also adjourned the case until November 28 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Meldrum-Jones.

Meldrum-Jones was granted bail with conditions including ones that she has no contact with the boys or any unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16.

It was pointed out that that bail condition had included her own children, but Judge de Bertodano lifted that aspect, commenting: “I can’t see why she can’t take her own children out for a walk.”

The judge also imposed a further condition that Meldrum-Jones co-operates with the probation service in the preparation of the pre-sentence report.

She said: “You have pleaded guilty to the majority of these matters, you will have to be dealt with by way of sentence.

“Clearly there needs to be a pre-sentence report for your benefit.

“I’m going to make a condition of your bail that you co-operate with probation in the preparation of that report.”

But she warned Jones, who was ordered to register as a sex offender: “Don’t take from the fact that I’m bailing you now that it won’t be a custodial sentence, because that is the likely outcome of this.”