Primary teacher facing jail over sex text to boy, 14

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The Independent Online

A primary school teacher was facing jail today after she admitted sending sexually explicit text messages to a 14-year-old schoolboy.

Lynn Walls, 42, was suspended and then sacked by Durham County Council after it emerged she used the interactive computer game Warcraft to befriend the teenager and get his mobile phone number while playing online.

She sent the boy, from London, a series of graphic texts in November 2007 which outlined what she intended to do with him if they met.

Walls, who admitted a charge of inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, was caught out when his father read them.

The teacher was due to be sentenced last month but the hearing was adjourned because Walls had failed to attend an appointment with probation officers - saying she was too ashamed to leave her home.

She claimed her friends had abandoned her and she was shunned by the local community after newspapers reported her court case.

Defence barrister Andrew Finlay said: "There has been a fair degree of media interest in this case. She has been too ashamed and frightened to leave the house.

"She was suffering panic attacks, perhaps it is not surprising given that she is 42 and of good character and suddenly this storm breaks on her.

"She has had very little support. Most of her friends when they found out about this offence dropped her and obviously she has been dismissed from her work.

"She has had to deal with this on her own."

At the last hearing, Judge Guy Whitburn QC told Walls: "Obviously the court needs to know about why you did the wicked things you did in texting this 14-year-old boy.

"It may well be that you need help. In asking for reports I give no indication of the sentence.

"I regard this as a serious matter and a custodial sentence cannot be ruled out."

Walls, of Rose Street East, Penshaw, Sunderland, has already been placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for a period yet to be determined.

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