Watch: Jury discharged in case of teaching assistant accused of having sex with pupil
A jury has been discharged in the trial of a teaching assistant accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student, moments after convicting her of sending topless Snapchat pictures to the teenager.
Kandice Barber, 35, of Wendover, Buckinghamshire, was accused of having sex with the boy in a field while she was working as a school cover supervisor, and sending him topless pictures of herself on Snapchat between September and October 2018.
A jury at Aylesbury Crown Court found her guilty of two sex offence charges relating to the topless pictures and a video, but were unable to reach verdicts on three more serious charges of causing or inciting a child aged under 16 to engage in a sexual act.
During a two-week trial, jurors heard that the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed the mother-of-three had told him he had a bigger penis than her husband and she was pregnant with his child.
But the defendant said she had “good intentions” when she gave her number to the teenager, despite teaching staff at Princes Risborough School in Buckinghamshire being banned from contacting pupils outside school without the head’s permission.
Prosecutor Richard Milne said Barber had approached the boy at a sports presentation in September 2018, and took his phone before adding herself to his Snapchat.
In his evidence to jurors, the boy said Barber messaged him after school in October 2018 to say she was dropping off her son and wanted to meet him, before she picked him up in her car and they had sex in a field.
The court heard that the boy had initially lied to the head teacher in January last year about his relationship with Barber because she allegedly told him she could be pregnant with his child.
It was not until March last year when he revealed the affair to the head after topless pictures of Barber were passed around the school.
In November 2018 Barber was off school for two weeks after suffering an ectopic pregnancy.
Barber denied telling the boy the baby could be his and said the fact she had lost a baby was well known around the school.
The court heard evidence from her husband, Daniel Barber, in which he said they had been trying for a baby after the summer holidays in 2018.
Mr Barber, who accompanied his wife in court along with her mother Dawn Green as the verdicts were given, told jurors she was his “rock” and denied their relationship was going through a bad patch at the time of the offences.
Asked how the naked photos had been leaked, Barber said the “My Eyes Only” folder in her Snapchat had been hacked.
The jury heard that police found Barber had Googled “alibi” and “having an affair”, which she claimed were in reference to the film Fatal Attraction.
In her evidence, she said she had given the teenager her number so he could talk to her about any issues, and denied the conversations were sexual.
She said his messages “became a lot more persistent” and she tried to tell him she was uncomfortable with the phone calls.
She said that when she refused to have any further contact with him, he sent her a message reading: “Watch what’s going to happen, you’re going to lose your job, you’re going to lose your family.”
Barber was found guilty by a majority of 10 to two of one count of sexual communication with a child and one count of causing a child to watch a sexual act by a person in a position of trust.
She was acquitted of one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activities while in a position of trust.
The jury of seven women and five men delivered their verdicts on Tuesday after deliberating for more than 10 hours.
A retrial has been scheduled for January 18.