Manchester teaching assistant jailed for pupil sex offences

Teaching assistant jailed for sex with pupil Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Caroline Berriman was originally given a suspended sentence for having sex with a teenager while working as a teaching assistant

A teaching assistant from Greater Manchester who had sex with a 15-year-old student has been given a two-year jail sentence by the Court of Appeal.

Caroline Berriman, 30, who worked at Abraham Moss Community School in Manchester, had a suspended sentence given to her in September overturned.

She had admitted having sex with the pupil, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The original sentence was referred for being "unduly lenient".

The case was referred by Attorney General Jeremy Wright who pointed to the abuse of trust, the disparity in age and the significant degree of planning or grooming behaviour.

Three judges in London said a sentence of immediate custody was in all the circumstances "clearly necessary and proportionate".

Pregnancy terminated

Berriman, of Oldham, was ordered to surrender to her local police station.

The sexual activity took place on 80 occasions over three to four months and resulted in a pregnancy which was terminated, the court heard.

The boy moved in with Berriman but when the situation deteriorated he rang ChildLine and said he was thinking of taking his own life.

When the police became involved he told them he felt "scarred" by what had happened.

Lord Justice Treacy said: "What took place did so on a very large number of occasions and involved her taking the victim to live with her as if the pair were ordinary lovers.

"It seems to us that conduct of this sort and on this scale clearly called for an immediate custodial sentence of some substance."

The original trial judge took into account Berriman's guilty plea, her previous good character and the fact she had to care for a young child when imposing a suspended sentence.

The length of the custodial sentence was also tempered by Berriman's family situation, the judge added.

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