A UK teacher was sentenced to 16 months jail on Tuesday for having sex romps with a pupil in the classroom and sending nude pictures of himself. Mark Westcott began the affair with the 16-year-old girl by sharing explicit text messages during a skiing trip, a court heard.
His victim, now 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, later told police he had bought her an "engagement" ring and called her "Mrs Westcott". The 48-year-old married teacher has been jailed for 16 months at Swindon Crown Court after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.
Westcott was a trusted housemaster and design and technology teacher at his school in Bath, Somerset, where he taught for 20 years. The court heard that Westcott, who was married, and his Year 11 pupil first began texting each other last year after swapping numbers while she was going through a difficult period in her life.
The relationship turned physical during a skiing trip in the early months of this year, and the pair then began to exchange explicit text messages and swap naked pictures of themselves while Westcott was on holiday in France.
"The text messages became less innocent over time and by the summer of this year it is right to say the pair were sneaking around at school and began meeting up in the DT block," the Daily Express quoted Siobhan Linsley, prosecuting as saying.
Westcott and his pupil had first met for sex when he booked a room at a Travelodge hotel on August 25 this year. Westcott even bought a ring for his young lover and joked that it was an "engagement" ring. "In September he gave her a ring that she considered to be an engagement ring and he regarded her, and called her, Mrs Westcott," Linsley said.
Police began an investigation into the pair following a tip-off from a fellow pupil at the school. Westcott's victim initially refused to co-operate with police but later confessed to the affair after officers discovered emails between them that detailed their activities.
The shamed teacher had initially pleaded guilty to the charges against him at a hearing at Chippenham Magistrates' Court last month. Charles Row, defending Westcott, said his life was in tatters. He was now separated from his wife and had been sacked from his job.
He added that Westcott had called the pupil "Mrs Westcott" as a joke. "In his own words he has let so many people down - himself, his family and his teaching profession," Ro said. "He is ashamed for his failure of resolve, self-control and will," he added. Judge Douglas Field told Westcott, who now lives in North Wraxall, Wiltshire, that in addition to being jailed, he would never be allowed to work with children again.