September 2009

GREENWICH: Teacher jailed for lesbian sex affair with pupil

A FORMER music teacher has been jailed for 15 months after admitting having a lesbian sexual affair with a 15-year-old pupil.

Helen Goddard, aged 26, of Thornham Street, Greenwich, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court today after pleading guilty to six charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

The trumpet teacher, who was sacked from her job at a London school, cried throughout much of the hearing as evidence of her relationship with her pupil was read out in court.

But she smiled and nodded to friends in the public gallery when her jail term was announced.

The court heard how Goddard took part in sex games with the teenage pupil, who cannot be named for legal reasons, during an affair which lasted from February 15 to July 11 this year.

When police raided the defendant’s home and arrested her on July 20 they found several sex toys which had been used with the young girl.

Phone records also revealed Goddard had sent the teen 60 text messages throughout the affair, some of which were sexually explicit and others “flirty”.

One text read: “It’s going to be a beautiful day. I love you. You were on my mind all day.”

An impact statement from the victim’s father was also read out in court by prosecutor Regina Naughton which said the teenager was now finding life at school difficult.

It read: “She is now in a difficult position in regards to her friends. The situation is very complex. She is now the object of intense teenage curiosity.”

The statement went on to say the teen’s parents were “particularly bothered” Goddard took their daughter on a weekend trip to Paris where they stayed in a hotel and attended a Gay Pride march.

Her father was under the impression his daughter was in the French capital with her older sister.

But the parents also admitted the youngster was “thriving and happy for the first time in a very long time” when spending time outside of school with her music teacher.

They added Goddard was a source of support for their daughter when she felt vulnerable.

Sentencing Goddard, Judge Anthony Pitts said: “The sexual contact was not instigated by you.

“I remind myself that this was a consensual relationship and I accept that you did not deliberately groom her.

“But these are serious offences in their own right and the particularly aggravating feature is that you were her music teacher throughout this period.

“You were in a position of trust. A pupil’s desire to be a special favourite makes it easy for teachers to take advantage.”

Goddard was sentenced to 15 months in jail and has been added to the Sex Offenders’ Register.