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Seducer of boy escapes jail

A dance teacher who seduced a 15-year-old boy and started a relationship with him behind her boyfriend's back has been given a 12-month suspended sentence.

Nicola Prentice, 25, from Sheffield, flirted with Dean Dainty and sent sexy text messages to him before luring him to out-of-school dance lessons and visits to the pub.

They then embarked on a 19-month relationship which continued after he left school. It ended after Prentice became tired of the teenager's demands including his insistence that she leave her boyfriend.

Prentice, of Loughton, Essex, pleaded guilty to two counts of abusing her position of trust by mutual touching and sexual intercourse with the boy.

She will never teach again and will have to stay on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

Judge Michael Stokes QC, sentencing, said: "Just think of the trouble and heartache you could have avoided if you had used your common sense and maintained your position as a teacher with this young man.

"It has to be appreciated that anyone who is in a position of trust, like a teacher, must not have sexual relations of any kind with a pupil under the age of 18."

Judge Stokes said the complainant, now 19, had made it clear that he did not want her to go to jail. He added that he believed she had suffered enough after Mr Dainty went to the tabloid newspapers with his story.

The judge described the media storm about the case as "the equivalent of Biblical stoning" and as Prentice left the dock at Leicester crown court said: "Don't you dare do anything like this again."

Prentice was 22 and in her first teaching job in north Nottinghamshire when the relationship began.

Grace Hale, prosecuting, said it started when Prentice was teaching English to the boy and gave him a mobile phone as a reward for his hard work.

She sent picture messages and text messages to him before inviting him for a night out. The teenager became infatuated.

Mr Dainty has waived his right to anonymity since a previous hearing after he agreed to an interview about the affair with the News of the World.

However, it was not until after his 16th birthday that the pair first had sexual intercourse at his parents' home.

Six months later, he left school, the relationship continued and the pair even went on holiday together to Spain.

Mr Dainty's mother wrote to the court saying that Prentice should not be sent to prison.

She said: "I know she has done wrong but I feel she has been punished enough by losing her position as a teacher etc.

"I feel if Nicola goes to prison, he (Dean) would not cope with the guilt of it all."

Edie Leonard, defending Prentice, said: "There was no grooming involved.

She has expressed her deep remorse and regret for the impact this has had on the victim."

Prentice pleaded guilty to the two offences between September 2001 and February 2002 at a hearing earlier this month.

Seven other offences of a similar nature, which allegedly came to light when the teenager went to the newspaper last year were ordered to lie on file.

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