PE teacher at Leytonstone school jailed for sex offences against pupil

A Leytonstone schoolteacher has been jailed after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a pupil.

Erin Hebblewhite, 29, pleaded guilty to seven charges which involved abusing her position to groom and sexually abuse the 16-year-old at Connaught School for Girls.

PE teacher Hebblewhite took the girl’s virginity in a restaurant bathroom on Valentine’s Day and was the first person to kiss her.

She also tried to pressure the girl into having sex in the toilets of Primark during a shopping trip and took explicit photographs of her.

Eventually the girl’s phone was seized by her mother. A family member was able to find explicit messages and the authorities were notified.

After Hebblewhite was arrested, police found around 400 images and messages between the pair

Judge Neil Sanders jailed Hebblewhite for two years and imposed a 10-year restraining order and sexual harm preventing order banning her from contacting the victim or working with children in any capacity.

He said: “I have read the victim personal statement and can summarise as such the areas [the victim] describes is feeling guilty and shame and depression, PTSD and feeling suicidal.

“She describes the interruption of an important time of education and development.

‘She talks about the damage to her relationships of her friends, family and her best friend. She says she struggles with adult relationships and she found the criminal process an ordeal.”

Headteacher of Connaught School for Girls, Avani Higgins, who was not in charge at the time of the offences has assured parents that the school is a safe place for their children, saying: Ofsted and the local authority have done a very rigorous safeguarding inspection of the school and found our procedures are robust, effective and those children are well looked after.”


Mick Ferris

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