England: teaching assistant who had sex with 15-year-old pupil given suspended sentence

A teaching assistant at a school in Manchester who seduced a school pupil and had sex with him 50 times has avoided jail and instead been given a two year suspended sentence and 250 hours’ community service.

The schoolboy, who cannot be named, had unprotected sex with teaching assistant Caroline Berriman, who avoided imprisonment after admitting two counts of sexual activity with a child.

She had been tutoring the pupil in maths and English but then contacted him on Facebook to ask for his phone number.

After five months they had sex, with the woman’s daughter eventually referring to the boy as “dad”.

He said: “We would call and text each other all the time and it got more and more into a sort of relationship. Then she started ringing me on weekends, asking if I was going round to hers.

“It slowly got more serious. It got to a point where her daughter was calling me “dad”. I used to say to her ‘I’m not, I’m your mum’s friend’.”

The affair was exposed after the boy told his brother, after which his mother also found out.

Ms Berriman was hauled before Manchester Crown Court earlier this year where it heard she took part in sex acts with the boy.

However, the case was adjourned after she fell ill.

Ms Berriman has since left her job at Abraham Moss Community School in Oldham, Manchester.

Headteacher Gillian Houghton said: “Safeguarding pupils is a number one priority for us and we take it extremely seriously.

“This person was suspended as soon as the allegations came to light and no longer works at the school.”