Pupil weeps as teacher jailed for having sex affair with her

A YORKSHIRE music teacher has been branded a “high risk” to young girls after being jailed for four years for a sexual affair with a teenage pupil.

Craig Parkin, 26, was jailed at Hull Crown Court yesterday for carrying out an intimate 18-month affair with the girl, which started when she was 14.

Parkin, of Manor Crescent, Walton, Wakefield, was head of music at Woldgate College in Pocklington, East Yorkshire, at the time of the offences.

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As the judge delivered his verdict, the pupil, who said she is still in love with “her soulmate” and wants to continue the relationship on his release, broke down in tears. Mr Justice Coulson told Parkin, who was supported in court by family members and his victim: “The aggravating features in this case are the gross breach of trust, the disparity in the ages and the length of time the relationship lasted.”

The judge also referred to a pre-sentence report which revealed Parkin’s “lack of insight” into his crimes and the “high risk of harm to young girls”.

He said Parkin would serve half his sentence and would never work with children again. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders register and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which limits his contact with girls under 16 for five years.

Prosecuting, Richard Woolfall said the sexual relationship began when the girl was 14 and being taught music by the defendant.

The pair began contacting each other via an in-school messaging service in a “normal” manner between teacher and pupil.

But they then began communicating via Facebook privately and the relationship progressed to kissing and cuddling and then advanced to sexual intercourse when she was aged 15 and Parkin had his own home.

The affair was uncovered after several pupils at the school became aware of it.

One former pupil alerted the police, who then contacted the victim’s mother.

The court was told Parkin had been engaged to a previous girlfriend but the seven-year relationship came to an end and he began seeing the schoolgirl.

Mr Woolfall said: “The complainant is still fully on the side of the defendant and hopes to have a relationship with him.”

The prosecutor said her victim impact statement indicated her love for the defendant. “She is still in love with him and still wants to be together with him and wants to wait,” he said.

He added: “The defendant said he had not behaved inappropriately with other pupils. This was a relationship where his heart had ruled his head.”

In interviews, he acknowledged the relationship was “very wrong” but he “couldn’t help being in love with her”.

The victim’s mother said she was impressed with Parkin’s talent as a teacher but thought he had “crossed the line”.

She also said in a victim impact statement she did not see him as a threat to her daughter and would not hurt her.

Parkin admitted five counts of engaging in sexual activity with the girl and two counts of abusing a position of trust.

His barrister, Guy Wyatt, said his client was not a “predatory paedophile” and the “wholly exceptional” aspect of the case was the feelings of the victim towards the defendant.

“This is a man whose emotions, passions, have got the better of him,” he told the court.