Beds, Herts & Bucks

Teacher Emily Fox jailed for having sex with pupil

Emily Fox Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Emily Fox admitted four counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl

A PE teacher who had sex with a pupil she taught at an all-girls private school has been jailed for 15 months.

Emily Fox, from Bath, pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court to four counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl while in a position of trust.

The offences took place in 2012-13 when Fox, 26, was a teacher at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

Fox will also be added to the sex offenders register for 10 years.

'Reputation in tatters'

The court heard Fox exchanged hundreds of "sexually explicit" messages with the girl after they met in November 2012.

A few months later they developed an "intense" bond that involved kissing and later sexual touching, the court was told.

The relationship was discovered in August last year when a revealing email was printed out inadvertently and seen by the parents of the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Image copyright SOUTH BEDS NEWS AGENCY
Image caption Fees at the Royal Masonic School for Girls cost up to £25,000 a year

Sally Mealing-McLeod, prosecuting, said an "abundance" of evidence to support the charges was discovered in WhatsApp messages between the pair.

After the email printed out, there were messages trying to work out how to "cover up" the relationship, the court heard.

Dee Connelly, mitigating, said Fox, who started working at the school in 2010, had shown a "degree of bravery" in admitting the offences and felt "remorse and contrition".

She urged the judge to take into account that the age gap between the two was "not that great" and said the defendant had been "gravely concerned" about the impact on the victim.

Passing sentence, Judge Stephen Gullick said he had no doubt Fox was a "gifted and well-loved" teacher.

But, he said: "In my judgment, you were always aware that the relationship was not only wrong but also unlawful."

He said the teacher's reputation was "in tatters", and he accepted a jail term would be "extremely difficult".

The Royal Masonic School for Girls was founded in 1788 in east London to teach the daughters of Freemasons.

It moved to its current site in 1934 and has a mixture of day and boarding pupils.

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