July 2015

Music teacher, 48, who had sex with a ‘vulnerable’ boy of 17 who she taught at a special needs school is jailed


A 48-year-old music teacher who had a sexual relationship with a ‘vulnerable’ 17-year-old boy that she taught at a special needs school has been jailed.

Caron Lewty, 48, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, embarked on an affair with one of her pupils after feeling flattered when he told her he had dreamt about her, the court heard.

She exchanged flirty messages with the teenager, who had learning difficulties, before they kissed and later engaged in sexual acts.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday how the pair met on a number of occasions before the secret tryst was uncovered by the youngster’s mother.

On two occasions, within less than a fortnight in May last year, the couple ended up in Lewty’s bed together, where sexual activity took place.

It was after the second time that the teenager’s mother saw texts of a ‘sexual nature’ on her son’s phone and called police, leading to Lewty’s arrest.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said: ‘She admitted what she did was wrong.’

The court heard that Lewty and the teenage boy had ‘discussed what they were doing and they knew it was wrong’.

She pleaded guilty to two offences of sexual activity in a position of trust with a male aged 17 years.

Speaking about the victim, Mr Smith said he add learning difficulties, adding: ‘His need arose from a general developmental delay, a lack of awareness of stranger danger. So he was a vulnerable young man.’

He also said the boy – who cannot be named – was bright and articulate, adding: ‘He was able to tell police he was a willing participant in the sexual activity he described to them.’

The teenager’s mother made a victim statement, some of which Mr Smith relayed to the court, in which she told how she felt ‘let down and betrayed by the defendant’.

She said the betrayal was especially prevalent ‘because of the fact music was a substantial part of his life’.

Lewty had been a teacher at the school for children with special educational needs and on occasion gave private music lessons.

The court was told she had tendered her resignation at the start of 2014 after having a breakdown the previous year, and was planning to start a music teaching business.

She was sentenced to six months in prison, of which she will serve half before being let out on licence, and will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

The Recorder of Leeds, Peter Collier QC, told Lewty: ‘You were still a teacher, you were responsible as a teacher and had to act as a teacher in a proper manner.

‘It is clear what you said to the police and others, you knew the rules and you knew what you did was outside the rules.

‘What you did was to have a short relationship with this young man.’

Kama Melly, defending, said the most serious offence took place just two weeks before the boy’s 18th birthday.

She described her client as ‘a woman who is isolated and alone’, who was ‘frankly amazed’ when the teenager mentioned his desires to her.

The court was told Lewty will never teach again and may lose her house if the mortgage payments aren’t kept up.