The School environment is like a second home, where children are either broken to pieces or groomed well.
Primary school teacher facing jail for sending lewd texts to schoolboy after grooming him on World of Warcraft
14th January 2009
A primary school teacher faces jail for sending lewd texts to a 14-year-old boy after grooming him over the internet game World of Warcraft.
Lynn Walls, 42, who has been sacked from her job, used the interactive computer game to befriend the teenager and get his mobile phone number while playing online.
She then 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.
She was caught out when his father read them.
Today she returned to Newcastle Crown Court to be sentenced after admitting inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
Defence barrister Andrew Finlay told the court that Walls had been too ashamed to leave her house and therefore pre-sentence reports had not been prepared because she missed appointments with probation officers.
‘There has been a fair degree of media interest in this case,’ said Mr Finlay.
‘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.’
Judge Guy Whitburn QC branded the text messages ‘disgusting’ and said he had read a victim impact statement from the teenager’s mother which showed the ‘devastating impact’ this offence has had.
‘Frankly this is a case that is very much on the cusp. She is not helping herself,’ the judge told Mr Finlay.
The court heard an appointment has been fixed with probation officers, who will in this unusual case, attend her home for the interview.
Judge Whitburn 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 Penshaw, Sunderland, has been sacked from her job and is already on the on the sex offenders register for a period yet to be determined.
She was granted conditional bail and told to return to court next month for sentencing.