Teacher Who Sent Boy 131 Texts In A Day Is Cleared Of Sex Abuse

A teacher accused of seducing a pupil and carrying on an affair while pregnant with her husband’s baby was cleared yesterday of sexual activity with a child and abuse of trust.

Jenine Saville-King, 29, who maintained her innocence throughout a 15-day trial, broke down in tears as the verdicts were read out at St Albans Crown Court.

Afterwards Mrs Saville-King said: “I made a terrible mistake in allowing myself to become so intensely involved in the emotional and personal problems of this boy.

“Although it was my job to provide pastoral care for the pupils in my charge, I allowed a situation to develop which he could distort and misrepresent to such a grotesque degree.”

She was found not guilty of seven charges of sexual activity with a child and one offence of abuse of trust.

Her husband Paul, 37, said: “This is the woman I love. I know her better than anyone. I have never doubted her.”

During the case Mrs Saville-King, a mother of two, admitted that her year-long relationship with the boy, who was 15 when they met, had not been “appropriate”. She agreed that they had flirted with one another in the school and later, when she went on maternity leave, she had become dependent on his text messages and e-mails.

On a single day in May 2005 she had sent the boy 131 messages and on the day she gave birth to her son, two months later, she had sent him 11 messages and phoned him.

Mrs Saville-King told the jury it had been an “intense” relationship and there was even a time when she thought that she might have loved the boy, but she denied that any sexual activity had taken place.

During the trial, the boy, now 18 and in a relationship with a 37-year-old mother of three, was branded a manipulative liar by Mrs Saville-King’s barrister, Sarah Forshaw.

The court heard how the newly married woman had gone to work at a school in Watford, Hertfordshire, as a teaching assistant in January 2004. Six feet tall, slim and attractive, she immediately caused a stir among some of the teenage boys and the jury heard that there would sometimes be wolf whistles at her.

She became the boy’s mentor and she told the jury: “I just wanted to help him with his coursework. He was behind and needed to catch up and I was helping him to do that.”

The prosecution had claimed that shortly before the summer holidays in July 2004, the pair began a sexual relationship when they started seeing each other out of school.

Giving evidence, the pupil said that after he turned 16 he and Mrs Saville-King began having full sexual intercourse two or three times a week, sometimes in hotels. DNA tests later proved beyond doubt that Mr Saville-King was the father of his wife’s baby.

Having left the school on maternity leave in April, 2005, Mrs Saville-King has not returned.