An attractive brunette was sentenced to six months today after she admitted seducing a school boy.
Marie Friendship, 38, claimed to have fallen in love with the teenager after she began the affair shortly before the boy’s 17th birthday.
She pleaded guilty to one count of having sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust at an earlier hearing.
Judge Julian Lambert handed Friendship a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after he accepted the affair resulted from “genuine affection on both sides”.
He said: “The accused woman acknowledged she had done wrong and accepts she fell in love, a strong emotion that ruined all judgement.
“She was so deep in infatuation she lost all reason. There is no element of manipulation that can be proved and there was a deep affection on both sides.
“The accused woman is utterly remorseful.”
Bristol Crown Court heard how Friendship had only admitted the tryst after others questioned her and raised concerns.
But on seeking legal advice she was wrongly told by solicitors that she had not committed a criminal offence, only a “moral” one.
Kenneth Bell, prosecuting, said: “She went to a reputable solicitors and was given incorrect advice on the relationship.
“She was told what she had done was not a criminal offence, only a moral one. She then confessed the relationship to others.”
It was at that point legal proceedings were started against Friendship and she ended the relationship immediately.
She entered a basis of plea to the court admitting the offence and stating that sexual activity had occurred between the pair, including intercourse on more than one occasion.
Robert Duval, defending Friendship, said that she had failed to recognise the boundaries due to the emotions involved and bitterly regretted her actions.
He said: “She is deeply and genuinely ashamed of what she has done and is humiliated.
“She failed to recognise the clear and important boundaries which should never be breached.
“She allowed her own emotions to govern her judgement.
“There was genuine and deep affection from this young man but she recognises she was foolish and professionally irresponsible in her behaviour.
“This is genuinely a case of infatuation and poor judgement, this was not a case of deliberate pre-calculated abuse of another.
“The affects of this case on her are irreversible, permanent, punitive and they are humiliating and distressing. She genuinely regrets that which she has done.”
She was handed a six month prison term, suspended for two years, a two year supervision order, 300 hours of unpaid work and a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 6am.
Friendship, from Whitchurch, Bristol, was forced to register as a sex offender at a previous hearing and will remain on the list for seven years.