A piece in today’s Times:
A married teacher is facing up to ten years in prison after being convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old boy.
Kandice Barber, 35, was found guilty at retrial of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
She showed little emotion and stared blankly across the courtroom when the verdicts were announced.
Amersham crown court had previously heard that Barber, a mother of three, told the youngster that she would “bring him down with her” if the relationship was discovered, and that she was pregnant with his child.
She began sending suggestive texts to the boy after spotting him at a school sports day while working as a school cover supervisor. The texts included one in which she asked him, “Do you like boobs or bum?” She also sent him a photograph of herself surrounded by sex toys on a bed.
The grooming campaign culminated with her taking the pupil to a field where she kissed him on the neck next to a bale of hay and whispered, ‘What do you want to do now?’ before having full intercourse with him.
Her lawyer had claimed that, at 5ft, she was too short to have sex with the boy standing up.
Barber, of Wendover, Buckinghamshire, was found out when a topless photo she had sent to the boy was circulated around the school until it was seen by the head teacher.
Yesterday Richard Milne, for the prosecution, recommended that the starting point for sentencing should be five years in jail as there was “an abuse of trust, a significant degree of planning . . . there is grooming behaviour used against the victim”, and threats and sexual images sent. He added that the “significant” difference in age between Barber and the boy may also be a factor in helping the judge to determine the length of the sentence, which could range from four to ten years.
Barber was convicted in September of sending the boy topless pictures of herself on Snapchat between September and October 2018, and was acquitted of one charge of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust. However, that jury failed to reach a verdict on other charges for the same offence.
At the earlier hearing Mr Milne told the court that the boy felt “worried and scared” and that Barber had warned him that “he should deny everything and should delete all the messages”.
Initially she claimed that the boy had made her pregnant and told him that she would “bring him down with her” if he “snitched” by making a false allegation of rape, the court heard. She later had a miscarriage. Her husband Daniel was the father.
Mr Milne told the jury: “They [Barber and the boy] engaged in sexual intercourse — at the time he was 15 years of age and she was a teacher and he was a pupil at the school. It makes not a jot of difference that he was a ‘he’ — the law applies equally to men and women. In law he could not give consent to have sexual intercourse.”
The lawyer added: “She said that she was going through a bad patch with her husband, that she was pregnant but lost the child, they wanted another but it was not happening.
“Things were strained between her and her husband. The boy had paid her attention and she had let her guard down and started to talk to him.”
Barber’s husband of four years, a delivery driver, appeared twice as a defence witness.
According to the Daily Mail, he described her as his “rock” and said that their relationship was “as strong as ever”, telling the jury that the pair had matching tattoos. [J4MB: A sure sign of a faithful relationship.]
Barber will have a bail review at the court today, where the judge will decide whether she will be remanded in custody before sentencing, which is due to take place on February 15.
After the guilty verdict, Barber’s husband, who was watching remotely in a side room, said: “It’s a joke.”
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