February 2015

Maths teacher, 33, found guilty of sex with boy, 16, at home and in her car is spared jail to care for her sick husband

A teacher who seduced a boy at her school has been spared prison so she can look after her seriously ill husband and their son.

Jacqueline Marks, 33, had sex with the 16-year-old pupil in her marital home and in her car.

The head of maths at a school in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, finally ended the relationship after nearly two months.

But she was caught out when an ex-girlfriend of the teenager found explicit messages on his iPad.

Judge Jonathan Howarth yesterday told Marks she ‘richly deserved to go to prison’ for the ‘serious breach of trust’.

But he gave her a nine-month sentence, suspended for two years, after hearing her husband had a heart condition.

‘You bear full responsibility for the breach of the law in this case … there is nothing in your personal mitigation that had led me to suspend the sentence,’ the judge said.

‘But you have a seven-year-old son and you are responsible for his care.

‘You have a husband who in the latter months of last year suffered a serious illness.

‘He is due to have a series of operations – the first of which is on February 27. Your role as a mother and wife is clearly crucial to them.’

Marks had taught the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, for several years at the secondary school.

She took him for seven lessons every week and had begun giving him extra maths tutoring which was organised by the school.

Edward Renvoize, prosecuting, said by January last year Marks felt ‘flattered’ by the attention the pupil was showing her and a sexual relationship began in May.

‘It escalated to cuddles and kisses and to her performing oral sex on him and then having full sex, once at her home and three times in her car,’ he added.

Marks brought the affair to an end as the boy approached his GCSE exams and thought her secret was safe.

But on June 23 the boy’s former girlfriend found messages on his iPad.

She guessed who was involved, even though Marks was not named in them. Details of the incriminating messages were not given at Cambridge Crown Court.

But Mr Renvoize added: ‘[The boy’s ex-girlfriend] was able to work out who the text messages had come from and she showed them to her mother. 

Both the school and police were contacted. Marks, of Stevenage, was arrested and at first refused to answer questions but made a full confession in a second interview.

Checks on a personal computer revealed she had been visiting sites concerning relationships between teachers and pupils. 

Marks admitted six counts of abusing a position of trust.

She was banned from working unsupervised with males under the age of 18, and her name will be on the Sex Offenders Register for the next ten years.