Leeds music teacher jailed for relationship with “vulnerable” teen student, 17

Caron Lewty. PIC: Ross Parry
Caron Lewty. PIC: Ross Parry
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A Leeds music teacher has been jailed for having a sexual relationship with a vulnerable teenage boy she met while working at a special needs school.

Shamed Caron Lewty, 48, felt flattered when a 17-year-old boy she gave music lessons to told her he had had a dream about her, the court heard.

This led to discussions about their feelings and some flirty texts. Then, a short time later when he attended her home for a private music lesson, the pair kissed.

Leeds Crown Court heard that the teen - who suffers from learning difficulties - and the teacher met on a number of occasions before the secret relationship was uncovered by the young man’s mum.

On two occasions, within less than a fortnight in May last year, the couple ended up in Lewty’s bed together.

It was after the second time that the teenager’s mum saw texts on her son’s phone which “were sexual in nature”.

The police were called and Lewty was arrested and interviewed.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said: “She admitted what she did was wrong.”

He added she knew her conduct was “inappropriate” and she didn’t want to put the victim through a trial.

The court heard that Lewty and the teenage lad had “discussed what they were doing and they knew it was wrong”.

She later pleaded guilty to two offences of sexual activity in a position of trust with a male aged 17 years.

Speaking about the victim, Mr Smith said he had learning difficulties, adding: “His need arose from a general developmental delay, a lack of awareness of stranger danger. So he was a vulnerable young man.”

He also said the boy was bright and articulate, adding: “He was able to tell police he was a willing participant in the sexual activity he described to them.”

The teen’s mum made a victim statement, some of which Mr Smith relayed to the court, he said the victim’s mum felt “let down and betrayed by the defendant”.

He added that the betrayal was especially keen “because of the fact music was a substantial part of his life”.

Lewty had been a teacher at a school in the city for children with special educational needs, and on occasion gave private music lessons.

The court was told she had tendered her resignation at the start of 2014 after having a breakdown the previous year, and was planning to start a music teaching business.

She was sentenced to six months in prison, of which she will serve half before being let out on licence, and will be placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.

The Recorder of Leeds, Peter Collier QC, told Lewty: “You were still a teacher, you were responsible as a teacher and had to act as a teacher in a proper manner.

“It is clear, [from] what you said to the police and others, you knew the rules and you knew what you did was outside the rules.

“What you did was to have a short relationship with this young man.”

Kama Melly, defending , said the most serious offence took place just two weeks before the lad’s 18th birthday. She described her client as “a woman who is isolated and alone”, who was “frankly amazed” when the teen mentioned his desires to her.

The court was told Lewty will never teach again and may lose her house if the mortgage payments aren’t kept up.