Boy asked for maths help, teacher gave sex

After more than 20 years in the profession, a "huge need to feel love" caused a teacher to turn to a teenage student for sex.

The 51-year-old known only as EP sobbed as she told Sydney's District Court on Thursday why she began having sex with the 15-year-old boy.

Following the breakdown of an unhappy marriage in 2006, the woman said she became depressed and suicidal.

"I felt that the last eight years of my marriage that my husband didn't love who I was and just liked me being around as a housewife," she told her sentence hearing.

"I had this huge need to feel love and it was a distorted view of what I thought I needed."

While in this frame of mind, she interpreted the boy's request for help with maths "totally inappropriately".

"I thought I read them as someone loving me or seeing me as someone of value."

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The woman, who has pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated sexual intercourse, embarked on a series of encounters with the boy over a period of two months in 2008.

Sometimes EP, herself a mother of three, would pick the boy up in her car with other students but would ensure he was dropped off last.

In 2011 an anonymous phone call sparked an investigation into the matter and brought an end to her 27 years as a maths and religion teacher.

Since then the woman recounted how she has struggled to hold down work, with another anonymous tip-off alerting a former employer to the charges.

She said she had "feelings of total disgust about what I had done", adding, "It is really hard trying to like myself again."

In a victim impact statement read to court, the now 20-year-old man said the experience with his former teacher continued to affect him.

"When I was 15 she made me feel excited and powerful but as I matured I felt ashamed, angry, guilty and confused."

Anger management issues, post traumatic stress symptoms and depression are just some of the side-effects that continue to plague him.

Defence barrister Peter Gow said his client was remorseful, had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had good prospects of rehabilitation.

He also submitted the offences were of the "low to mid" range, with EP using no force, coercion or pressure.

"She has certainly brought things on herself. But she has lived with the stigma of what she has done."

But Judge Colin Charteris said "parents do not send their children to school to become sexual opportunities for teachers".

The woman wept as two Corrective Services officers entered the court and Judge Charteris said no sentence other than a period of full-time imprisonment was appropriate.

She was taken into custody and will be sentenced on Monday.


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