Teaching assistant accused of having sex with pupil ‘sent him sexy pictures for attention when she was drunk’

  • Helen Turnbull, 35, admitted to police sending pictures in her underwear
  • Court heard she may have told pupil she loved him in drunken messages
  • Said the pupil cheered her up during the break-up of her marriage
  • Ms Turnbull admitted kissing the 16-year-old boy at Teesside Crown Court
  • Has denied three other counts of sexual activity with the boy in her Mini

Helen Louise Turnbull, pictured, admitted to police to sending a picture in her underwear for attention
A teaching assistant accused of having sex with a pupil admitted to detectives she sent him a picture in her underwear ‘for attention’, a court has heard.
Helen Louise Turnbull, 35, also told police she may have said she loved the 16-year-old at the end of drunken internet messages.
In a police interview, she said the boy had cheered her up during the break-up of her marriage to husband Ben, with whom she has two children.
But the literacy assistant from Haswell, County Durham, told police that their relationship went no further than kissing at two secret meetings on an industrial estate in her black Mini convertible.
She has pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child while being in a position of trust – the kissing – but denies three further counts relating to allegations that they had sex and on two further occasions, that she performed a sex act and oral sex on him.
After she was arrested, Turnbull, who studied law and international politics at Keele University, told Detective Constable Kimberley Walker they began sending messages via Facebook and iMessenger.
Her husband was frequently away with work, and she was lonely and drinking ‘too much’ once her children were in bed, Teesside Crown Court heard.
She said the schoolboy ‘could make me laugh or cheer me up’ as they swapped messages.
She told the police: ‘He was the one keen to get me to like him, he was the one with all the compliments and I was more wary.’
Previously the court was told that both Turnbull and the boy had agreed not to tell their respective friends about their relationship because of the impact it would have on her marriage and her job.
It was also revealed yesterday in court that the father of the boy confronted Ms Turnbull in his street when she got out of her car in a ‘ridiculously’ short skirt, called her a ‘paedophile’ and said he would have hit her had she been a man.   

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