Teacher accused of having sex with school boys ‘attempts to garner sympathy’ by displaying baby bonnet in court

Rebecca Joynes at Manchester Crown Court
Rebecca Joynes at Manchester Crown Court denies six counts of sexual activity with a child, including two while being a person in a position of trust - STEVE ALLEN FOR THE TELEGRAPH

A teacher accused of having sex with two schoolboys made a “naked attempt to garner sympathy” by tucking her baby’s pink bonnet into her trousers when giving evidence at her trial.

Rebecca Joynes, 30, had kept the hat, belonging to the child fathered with one of the teenagers she was said to have taken the virginity of, visible during her two days in the witness box.

In his closing speech, Joe Allman, prosecuting, told the jury at Manchester Crown Court: “She’s aware of the optics here. She’s not stupid. Is Ms Joynes, more shrewd than she lets on?”

Ms Joynes had already been suspended from her high school job where she was a maths teacher and was on bail for alleged sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy, named only as Boy A, when she allegedly began a sexual relationship with another 15-year-old boy, described as Boy B, whom she later became pregnant by.

Jurors heard both boys sent her flirty Snapchat messages before Boy A was taken shopping, bought a £350 Gucci belt and went back to her flat on Salford Quays where they had sex, with his semen later recovered from her bedsheets by police.

Boy B claims sexual activity began when he was 15 with kissing and full sex when he was 16, but while he was still a pupil.

Ms Joynes claims no sexual activity ever took place with Boy A but admitted a relationship did develop with Boy B while she was suspended from her job.

She insisted it only became sexual after she was dismissed and he had left school at 16, so no offence had taken place.

Addressing the jury, Mr Allman said of the baby’s bonnet worn by Ms Joynes in her trouser waistband: “That was a pretty naked attempt to garner your sympathy.”

He also suggested Boy B had been accused of “gaslighting” her during their stormy relationship when she became pregnant.

Mr Allman said: “Who is being gaslit, and who is doing the gaslighting?”

He suggested the case could appear very different if it was a male teacher accused of sexual contact with two female pupils aged just 15.

“Is what is going on here that she hopes you will treat her very differently because she is a woman and not a man, and you will see this case differently because she’s a woman and not a man?” he asked.

He questioned whether the boys would have been “disparaged in the same way in an attempt to discredit them if they were two girls of similar age”.

‘Warping picture so she becomes victim’

He suggested Ms Joynes would like jurors to forget she is a responsible, mature adult teacher and the boys were teenage children and school pupils.

“It has the effect of warping the picture, so she almost becomes the victim and the boys the perpetrators,” he added.

Earlier, Ms Joynes told the jury she had ruined her “dream job” with stupid “mistakes” by meeting up with the two teenagers and having them back at her flat but denied underage sex.

Both boys were 15 when Joynes began taking each one into her flat and both had been communicating with her on Snapchat – where messages are deleted and not recoverable by police.

In both cases, the activity was a secret from their parents and they both flirted with her, with Boy A calling her “sexy” and Boy B sending her a message saying: “Get your tits out.”

Ms Joynes admitted she had split from a nine-year relationship and was lonely and flattered by the attention.

In a letter, she wrote to Boy B, saying: “Every inch of you is perfect. You are all I ever dream about.”

Ms Joynes wept as she told jurors their baby was taken away from her hours after giving birth and she now only has limited access, three times a week. The former pupil was 17 when the child was born.

She denies six counts of sexual activity with a child, including two while being a person in a position of trust.