Teacher accused of sex with children tells court she was ‘lonely and craved attention’

Rebecca Joynes wept as she told jurors that her baby was taken away ‘24 hours after she was born’

Joe Middleton
Monday 13 May 2024 19:04 BST
Teacher charged with six counts of sexual activity with two teenagers arrives at court

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


A teacher accused of having sex with two schoolboys – including one that got her pregnant – said she felt lonely and “craved” attention after a breakup, a court has heard.

Rebecca Joynes said she struggled during the Covid restrictions and a nine-year relationship breakdown but denied having sex with teenagers.

Joynes, 30, was already suspended from her high school job and on bail for alleged sexual activity with Boy A, 15, when she allegedly took the virginity of a second child, 16, and became pregnant.

Schoolteacher Rebecca Joynes arrives at Manchester Crown Court on Monday
Schoolteacher Rebecca Joynes arrives at Manchester Crown Court on Monday (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

The former teacher burst into tears at Manchester Crown Court on Monday as she told jurors that her baby was taken away “24 hours after she was born” and now sees her “three times a week for three hours”.

Joynes denies any sexual activity took place and has pleaded not guilty to six charges of sexual activity with two teenagers while she was a teacher. Neither teenager must be identified.

Giving evidence for the first time, Joynes stood in the witness box to answer questions from Joe Allman, prosecuting, with a pink baby’s bonnet visible, tucked into the top of her trousers. She has brought this with her to court every day throughout the trial.

Schoolteacher Joynes arrives at Manchester Crown Court on Monday
Schoolteacher Joynes arrives at Manchester Crown Court on Monday (Peter Byrne/PA)

Mr Allman began his questions, asking if she was trying to get sympathy from the jury with the bonnet. “No. Definitely not,” Joynes said. “I sleep with this every night.”

Mr Allman continued: “When an adult has an inappropriate relationship with a child, of 13, 14, 15, that’s the adult’s responsibility, nothing to do with the child being provocative, or making the first move, or trying to get the adult’s number, is it?”

“No,” Joynes replied.

Mr Allman asked: “Did you have a powerful sexual attraction to boys aged 15?”

“Not at all,” Joynes said.

Mr Allman said Boy A stayed at her flat, his semen was found on her bed sheets and Boy B went back to her flat and she ended up becoming pregnant by this teenager.

Mr Allman reminded jurors Boy A had lied to his mother to see Joynes, who picked him up in her car and took him to the Trafford Centre where she bought him a £350 Gucci belt before going back to her flat in Salford Quays.

“And you say you were not contemplating sex?” Mr Allman said.

“No,” replied Joynes.

Mr Allman continued: “Does lying come quickly to you?”

“No. Definitely not,” Joynes said.

Earlier, Joynes answered questions from her own barrister, Michael O’Brien.

She admitted she swapped messages on Snapchat with Boy A and agreed for him to stay at her apartment – but that he slept on her sofa and they did not have sex.

She said the plan was to order some food but Boy A told her he was not hungry, before adding: “I think you know what I want to do?”

Rebecca Joynes is on trial at Manchester Crown Court
Rebecca Joynes is on trial at Manchester Crown Court (PA)

Joynes said: “I laughed awkwardly and went to join him on the couch.

“He asked me how many people I had slept with. I said, probably not as many as you have.

“I thought he wanted something to happen. There was no way that was going to happen. I explained I had been in a nine-year relationship and really struggled with the breakup and I’m not that kind of person.

“I told him nothing sexual was going to happen.”

Mr O’Brien asked if there was anything she would change about how she behaved.

Joynes said: “Everything. As a teacher I should never have engaged in any form of contact with a student.

“I let my guard down. I caved in to the attention he was giving me. I struggled massively over the Covid period. I think I was obviously lonely and I liked the attention at the time, which sounds awful.”

Joynes was arrested after rumours began to circulate, suspended from her job and bailed while police investigated Boy A and her contact.

While suspended she admitted being in contact with Boy B on Snapchat despite being ordered not to have contact with anyone under 18.

Joynes said she was “curious” about Boy B contacting her on Snapchat and they “opened up” to each other as friends.

“I genuinely believed that he cared,” she said.

She again denied any sexual contact before Boy B had left school and only had sex with him after she had been dismissed from her job and she was therefore no longer a teacher and in a position of trust.

She gave birth to a daughter she had with Boy B.

Mr O’Brien said: “Do you want to tell us what happened?”

Joynes, breaking down in tears, replied: “An emergency court hearing was held and she was taken off me 24 hours after she was born.

“At the moment I have got contact with her three times a week for three hours. That’s it.”

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by PA

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