Teacher Alice McBrearty jailed for sex with 15-year-old schoolboy

A "disgraced" former teacher has been jailed for 16 months after admitting to a "full-blown sexual relationship" with a 15-year-old schoolboy.

Alice McBrearty, 23, had a four-month "romance" with the teenager, who was one of her pupils.

Jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how she kissed the teenager in a classroom and had sex with him at an Ibis hotel.

She also took the boy to her parents' home in Wanstead Park, east London.

McBrearty pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to seven counts of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.

During Friday's sentencing, she put her head in her hands and sobbed in the dock as Judge Sheelagh Canavan jailed her.

The judge said the woman was "bright, intelligent and gifted" and "knew right from wrong", but that she had committed the "grossest breach of trust".

She said: "You engaged in a full-blown sexual relationship with a 15-year-old child.

"I accept he was consenting - what 15-year-old schoolboy would turn down such an attractive offer?

"I accept you truly believed this was a great romance, you were in love with him and vice versa, and that age didn't matter. But it did.

"You were supposed to keep him safe, to help him make the right decisions.

"Instead, you helped him make all the wrong ones."

The relationship began after McBrearty sent the pupil a friend request on social media.

Prosecutor Lisa Matthews said the boy "felt special" and was "besotted" with the teacher, who would take him to parks and for meals.

The relationship ended when his father called the police.

Emma Shafton, defending, said: "This is a young lady who has had a spectacular fall from grace - university educated, comes from a respectable family - she has been utterly disgraced by this."

She said McBrearty was "not sexually attracted to children", but added: "She will of course be branded a paedophile for the rest of her life. She is a sex offender."

The barrister said the woman had been reduced to working on a zero-hours contract delivering parcels to Amazon as she was no longer able to get a "decent job".