South Yorkshire teaching assistant jailed for affair with schoolboy

Jailed:Teaching assistant Rachel Peters. Photo:
Jailed:Teaching assistant Rachel Peters. Photo:
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A TEACHING assistant has been jailed after admitting an affair with a vulnerable 13-year-old boy.

Rachel Peters, aged 41, a mother herself, had planned to run away with the youngster, a court heard.

After initially turning down a ‘friend request’ from the schoolboy on social network Facebook, Peters began to chat with him online - and went on to abuse him.

Despite being reprimanded for her conduct outside of school with another male in 2009, she picked the boy up in her car and took him to a secluded spot, where the pair went on to have sex.

Peters, of Kennington Grove, Edlington, Doncaster, wept as Judge Jacqueline Davies branded her a ‘predator’ and jailed her for three years and three months.

Ordering Peters to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and making a Sexual Offences Prevention Order against her, Judge Davies said: “You pose a high risk of serious harm to children, particularly teenage boys. You have abused the trust placed in you.

“You were not naive - you have been a teaching assistant for 17 years and have been reprimanded for your conduct in the past.”

Peters’ crimes came to light when a member of staff overheard the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, discussing their encounters with a friend.

She denied the offences and tried to delete evidence from her computer, claiming instead the boy had issued a vendetta against her when she tried to discipline him.

When police conducted detailed investigations of her computer, they found fragments of conversations and also explicit chats with a 17-year-old male.

Peters pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, and two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child on June 19 of this year. Eight other charges which relate to matters between January 2010 and September of the same year have been left on file.

Kath Goddard, prosecuting, told Doncaster Crown Court Peters sexually abused the boy in her family car in a secluded spot and in a field.

She added: “The boy told police he ended the relationship himself because he became worried when the defendant began talking about the two of them running away together.”

Defending, Steven Crossley said Peters had suffered abusive partners in the past.