Sex with pupils assistant jailed
A female teaching assistant who had sex with two male pupils has been jailed for 16 months.
Hina Patel, 37, was supposed to be supervising the "disruptive" 15-year-olds but she quickly started flirting with them, Liverpool Crown Court was told.
Patel, who worked as a classroom assistant and swimming teacher at Birkdale High School near Southport, Merseyside, invited the youngsters back to her home where she had sex with one boy and the other a few hours later.
Patel, of Sandilands Grove, Hightown, Southport, admitted two counts of sexual activity with a child at North Sefton Magistrates' Court last month.
At her sentencing, Martin Decker, prosecuting, said the single mother-of-two was employed to provide support and supervision for pupils who had been disruptive in class.
Mr Decker said that was how she came to meet the two Year 11 boys in February this year and during a one-to-one supervision she exchanged mobile phone numbers with them.
Describing an exchange of text messages between Patel and one of the boys, Mr Decker said: "Initially she was being friendly and saying he was a 'good lad' but after about four days the content became sexual."
Patrick Williamson, defending, said Patel was "feeling shame and remorse". He described her as a good mother of two boys and a hard worker. As well as her jobs at the school and golf club, she was also studying for two post-graduate qualifications, Mr Williamson said. "However, she has little self esteem and little sense of self worth," he told the court.
Judge John Rogers said he accepted the defence's argument that Patel's behaviour was "out of character". But he added: "I have no hesitation whatsoever in coming to the conclusion that these offences were so serious only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified."
Patel was jailed for 16 months for each of the two offences, to be served concurrently. She was also made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which bans her from working with children under the age of 16, being alone in the company of under-16s - apart from her own children - and bans her from using social networks to contact children.