Classroom assistant jailed after having sex with teenage boys she groomed on Facebook
Published 03/12/2012 | 19:11
A CLASSROOM assistant who had sex with teenage boys after grooming them on Facebook and bombarding them with illicit text messages was today jailed for 32 months.
Mother-of-two Emma Webb, 42, performed sex acts on four boys, with a fifth groomed via "sexual texting", which included sending him photographs of her performing sex acts and using sex toys, something she also did to the other boys.
She preyed on the boys, aged 15 to 17, performing sex acts at locations including a school's premises, public woodland and her home in Berkshire, while her husband and children were out, Reading Crown Court heard.
The court heard she was warned to stop contacting the boys via Facebook by a friend who discovered it but continued.
Her conduct was also the subject of jokes by some of her victims to their friends, prosecutor Simon Heptonstall said, with several of the boys knowing about each other's relationships with her.
Judge John Reddihough, sentencing her for 30 sex offences to which she had pleaded guilty, said she had risked leaving the boys with a "distorted attitude to females and sex".
"It is also likely to have had an adverse effect on them with feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment on their part," he said.
He added: "You put your thrill-seeking before their interests."
Webb had full sex with three boys, also grooming them by buying them fast food from KFC and giving them lifts in her car, the court heard.
With several she made initial contact via Facebook, using it to swap mobile phone numbers and begin sex-testing them.
During one tryst at her home, her husband rang her on her mobile and she told him she was out shopping.
She confided in several of the boys that she knew what they were doing was wrong. But she sent one boy a text saying "I love you".
Mr Heptonstall said: "The Crown submits that with five complainants over a number of years, this is not a flash in the pan.
"It would appear at this time there was an attraction to boys of this age."
He added that one of the boys moved to end their relationship when she became too emotionally attached.
"He regarded this just as a sexual relationship, he said.
"She said to him she thought it was more and when he said no, it started to end."
Webb admitted 16 offences at a previous hearing and a further 14 today.
In total, she admitted 16 charges of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust, three of causing or inciting a child to engage in a sexual act, six of causing or inciting a child to engage in a sexual act by a person in a position of trust, three of causing a child to watch a sexual act, and one of sexual activity with a child.
A charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, which she denied, will lie on file.
Jennifer Edwards, representing Webb, suggested that her offending was in part linked to the murder of her brother several years ago.
"Each of the boys she became involved with, it appears she spoke to them about her lost brother," she said.
"Perhaps she was looking for some sort of solace."
No details of the murder were heard by the court.
Ms Edwards added that the judge had been sent a "heartfelt" letter by Webb, plus others in support from other people, including her parents, her children and her husband, who is standing by her.
She conceded that Webb's victims were young and vulnerable but added: "They were young but on the verge of manhood.
"That is also reflected in how the offences were described by each of the complainants."
This was a reference to several boys telling the police they did not feel they had been emotionally damaged by what happened.
Webb had no previous convictions, the court heard.
Judge Reddihough said it was not clear why she had committed the crimes but he accepted there could be a psychological link to her low self-esteem and her brother's murder.
As well as being jailed, she has been banned for life from working with children and will be on the sex offenders register permanently.