A DISGRACED teacher has been jailed for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old pupil at the Shipston school where he taught.
Jonathan Hunt had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.
Hunt, who was head of science at Shipston High School at the time, also admitted meeting her following grooming, intending to do something which would be an offence under the Sexual Offences Act.
In addition the disgraced teacher pleaded guilty to three further charges of causing the 15-year-old girl to watch a sexual act, while he was in a position of trust, for the purpose of him obtaining sexual gratification.
The 52-year-old, now of Somerset Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, was jailed for a total of three years and four months and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
He previously taught at Myton School in Warwick for more than a decade.
Judge Richard Griffith Jones also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order with conditions including a prohibition on Hunt teaching or tutoring any girl under the age of 16 or seeking paid or voluntary work which would entail contact with a child.
Prosecutor Simon Ward said: “Before he was convicted he was of good character and a teacher.”
He added it was ‘quite apparent’ the girl, who was 15-16 at the time of the offences and was not being taught by Hunt, did not consider herself to be a victim.
Mr Ward said Hunt and the girl ‘went to some lengths’ to keep things a secret.
It was only by chance that the girl’s mother happened to be by her phone when a text came through from the defendant and she could see it on the screen.
The text said something about kissing and the girl not taking their relationship seriously, and was signed JH.
Hunt was arrested, and his phone and computer were seized by the police.
Mr Ward said Hunt’s phone showed they had been exchanging messages of a sexual nature, and Hunt had also sent indecent photographs of himself to her.
When the girl was interviewed by the police she said they had begun communicating through Twitter, and she wanted a relationship with Hunt although he was reluctant at first.
After they exchanged email addresses he told her he was unhappy at home, and during the summer holidays when she was 15 they went for a walk and kissed.
They had also kissed in a side room during a school prom, which was the only time there was any activity on school premises, but she went on to reveal that on two occasions when they went for walks Hunt had sexually touched her.
The girl said they had both fantasised about what it would like to be in a relationship, and as well as receiving the indecent images from Hunt, she had sent him ones of herself in her underwear and one of herself topless.
Jonathan Barker, defending, said: ” It is a very sad story. He’s a man of previous good character.
“He was very stressed at work, and his relationship with his wife was deteriorating fast. He sought emotional comfort from this girl. She showed an interest in him, and he should have rebuffed it.”
“He has lost everything. He has lost his marriage and has not had contact with his children, and will never teach again. He got a job in a charity shop which he has also lost as a result of this case. He lives with his parents.”
Jailing Hunt, Judge Griffith-Jones told him “From standing tall as a man of respect, you have fallen into disgrace.”
“You and all teachers have a responsibility for the welfare of the young people who look to you.
“What happened here is that instead of protecting the complainant from her own feelings, you began to indulge yourself.
“The other feature that makes this serious is that this was not a fleeting relationship.”