Teaching assistant jailed 2 years for underage sex with 15-year-old student

Despite the age difference of 36 years, a teaching assistant and a 12-year-old student grew close after meeting in a Design & Technology class. About a year later, they exchanged text messages and eventually went on to have sex a total of nine times.

The 52-year-old was on Wednesday sentenced to two years in jail in a District Court after pleading guilty to four counts of sex with the minor, now 16. Five other such charges were taken into consideration.

The pair had met in 2008 at a secondary school in the east. The next year, they started exchanging text messages after the girl got his mobile phone number from a classmate. In early 2011, their correspondence took a sexual turn when she began to talk to him about sex, eventually saying she wanted to try it. She agreed when he asked if she was interested in having sex with him.

They went into a hotel and had unprotected, consensual sex. She was 15. After this first experience the girl considered him her boyfriend, the court heard on Wednesday. They went on to have sex eight more times in another hotel, his sister's home and a staircase landing in a Housing Board block.