Teacher is jailed over relationship with 15-year-old pupil

Court news
Court news

A disgraced teacher has been jailed for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old pupil at Shipston High School where he taught.

Jonathan Hunt had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.

Hunt, who was head of science at the school at the time, also admitted meeting her following grooming, intending to do something which would be an offence under the Sexual Offences Act.

He also pleaded guilty to three charges of causing the 15-year-old girl to watch a sexual act, while he was in a position of trust, for the purpose of him obtaining sexual gratification. Hunt, 52, now of Somerset Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, was jailed for three years and four months and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order with conditions including a prohibition on Hunt teaching or tutoring any girl under the age of 16 or seeking paid or voluntary work which would entail contact with a child.

He told Hunt: “From standing tall as a man of respect, you have fallen into disgrace.”

Prosecutor Simon Ward said he was previously of good character.

Mr Ward said Hunt and the girl ‘went to some lengths’ to keep things a secret, but by chance the girl’s mother saw a text from the defendant. When challenged, the girl said the text was from a boy at school, but her mother didn’t believe her and contacted police.

As a result Hunt was arrested, and his phone and computer were seized.

The girl told police they had begun communicating through Twitter, and that she wanted a relationship with Hunt although he was reluctant at first.

Jonathan Barker, defending, said: “He accepts the gross error of judgement and that there was a breach of trust. It is a very sad story. He’s a man of previous good character.

“He was very stressed at work, and his relationship with his wife was deteriorating fast. He sought emotional comfort from this girl. She showed an interest in him, and he should have rebuffed it.”

Jailing Hunt, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “This is not a case of a cold sexual predator. I described you as having been, until this, an admirable man. But it is that characteristic which will quite often excite loyalty and admiration among children for a teacher. You and all teachers have a responsibility for the welfare of the young people who look to you.”