Teaching assistant sex trial: ‘Obsessive’ behaviour led boy to ignore her

ACCUSED: Helen Turnbull
ACCUSED: Helen Turnbull

A TEACHING assistant accused of having sex with a schoolboy became “obsessive” about their relationship to the point that he frequently ignored her messages, he told a court.

Mother-of-two Helen Louise Turnbull, 35, had sex with the teenager in the back of her Mini convertible which was still fitted with a child seat, Teesside Crown Court has heard.

She has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust but denies three other counts.

She admitted kissing the boy but denied their relationship went further, and said she did not have sex with him or, on two further occasions, perform sex acts on him.

The schoolboy said Turnbull, of Church View, Haswell, became obsessive by sending him lots of messages and trying to meet up with him.

He said: “Towards the end she started to get a bit more obsessive and sending a bigger amount of texts. I didn’t like it so I just ignored her sometimes.”

The boy said Turnbull tried to get him to meet up with her during school hours by claiming she was sick but he did not do it.

“She said she was going to tell them she was sick so she had to go and she wanted to come with me.

“I never met up with her. I made an excuse.”

He added: “We would argue over stupid stuff, I would make up excuses when she wanted to see me because it got too much.”

The schoolboy’s interview with police – in which he claims he met up with Turnbull on three occasions and had sex with her – was played to the jury.

In the video he also claimed that Turnbull threatened to have him shot after other people became aware of the alleged relationship.

The threat was said to have been made in a message she sent to him over Facebook.

The boy said: “She said ‘from what I was reading off last night’s craic you deserve shooting. I’m going to take a contract out’.”

Asked by Sarah Mallett, prosecuting, if he believed it, he said: “I don’t want to believe it but I don’t know.”

He said it was after he had told people they were seeing each other and added he was worried after claiming Turnbull had been in his street.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave details about the four occasions he said he met up with Turnbull in her black Mini convertible.

He said they just kissed on the first occasion but had sex and engaged in other sex acts on the others.

He said: “She inboxed me and told me she was on her way. It was like routine from there.”

The boy said on one occasion she brought the liaison to an end to pick up her son.

“She saw it was time to pick her son up and she had to go,” he said.

He said despite the large number of text and Facebook messages they sent each other Turnbull had told him not to refer to any sexual activity.

He said: “There could be no discussion about us actually having sex because it could jeorpardise her career and family and everything else.

“I was always told not to speak to anybody so it could be mine and her secret so we wouldn’t get caught out and jeorparidise her career and my future.”

But he said word got out after he told a friend who told other people.

The boy was shown pictures of Turnbull’s car which showed a child’s booster seat behind the passenger seat.

He said such a seat was there each time they allegedly had sex in the car.

The alleged victim was pressed about specific dates sexual activity is said to have taken place but said he could not remember.

Anne Richardson, defending Turnbull, asked: “Is that because you are lying?”

The boy answered: “Why would I lie and destroy her life, my life and my family’s life?”

The trial continues.