A former teacher facing accusations of engaging in sexual activity and sexual communication with a student has gone on trial.
Rebecca Whitehurst, 46, appeared at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on Monday (July 4) accused of two counts of sexual activity and sexual communication in 2019.
Whitehurst Allegedly Touched the Boy Sexually, Sent Him Explicit Photos
As reported by the Manchester Evening News, Whitehurst was a teacher at a Greater Manchester school at the time of the alleged offences. The boy, who has not been identified for legal reasons, was a student at the school. According to prosecutors, Whitehurst intentionally sexually touched the boy and 'would have known' he was under 16.
Prosecutor Julian Goode told the jury: "Over time, the teacher pupil relationship grew and grew to the extent that they started messaging each other outside of school hours having obtained her contact details,"
"They began to spend more time outside school hours which culminated in sexualised exchanges of messages between the two and allegedly in this defendant touching his penis with her hands and mouth. That in a nutshell is what the case is about," Goode said.
The court heard that Whitehurst spoke to a colleague about issues that were "so profound" she may have had to leave the school. She said there were problems with a particular student and that she had given the student her contact details and had met him outside of school on a "number of occasions," the jury was told.
"The messaging between the two had become sexualised and they reported it immediately to the head of the school," Mr Goode added. They exchanged messages and he sent 'naked pictures' of himself, as well as meeting outside of school on at least eight occasions, the court heard.
Teacher Asked Victim to Delete Messages She Sent to Him
The boy was later interviewed by police. The tape was shown to the jury. He said the two believed they were in a relationship and that they loved each other. The messaging started via school emails, before moving onto Snapchat and WhatsApp.
Whitehurst asked the pupil to delete a lot of messages she had sent to him, including one of her breasts, the prosecution alleges. They are said to have met up on "numerous occasion" in different areas of Fallowfield. She would drive him in her Volvo, the court heard.
One of these occasions, it is alleged they went to a dead end road and engaged in sexual activity. In the police interview shown to the court, the boy said the activity was consensual, and he tried to hold back from saying some things due to being "worried about her."
The boy said "she knew what she was doing was wrong," the tape showed, and she had done the "worst thing" possible as a teacher by engaging in sexual activity and communication.
"[Messages were] clearly sexual in nature. They were detailed and prolonged messages and there was plentiful contact between the two of them," Goode added.
"When he discussed his love for her and further contact and when he discussed classes and thinking about sex with her she did very little to correct or stop those assertions. The sexual nature [of the messages] is clear from the wording."
Whitehurst Claims Victim 'Concocted' the Messages After She Rejected Him
The defence counsel for Whitehurst accused the boy of "concocting" the text messages and that allegations of sexual activity with him were false.
Mark Ford QC, Whitehurst's lawyer, spoke to the boy, who appeared as a witness via video link, at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court and accused him of creating the false allegations as he was angry at her rejecting him.