‘Beyond despicable’ teacher, 35, who had sex with schoolboy, 15, in field jailed
A married teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old schoolboy has been sentenced to over six years in jail after a judge derided her crimes as “beyond despicable”.
Kandice Barber, 35, was found guilty of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity in January following a retrial and was sentenced on Friday.
Jailing her at Aylesbury Crown Court to six years and two months, Recorder Bal Dhaliwal said: “You acted in gross breach of trust. You took advantage of a child in your care and groomed him for your own sexual gratification.”
The judge described the mum-of-three’s actions as “beyond despicable”.
Barber, of Wendover, Buckinghamshire, had been remanded in custody after her bail was denied.
Last September a jury convicted her of sexual communication with the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The offences took place in September and October 2018.
Prosecutor David Povall summarised a victim personal statement from the teenager in which he said Barber “was supposed to help him make the right decisions, but helped him to make all the wrong decisions”.
Mr Povall said: “He was at school and he came into contact with the defendant. She was in a position of trust.
“He has been caused stress and anxiety having to go through two trials.
“He is concerned his family and friends have also suffered.”
He continued: “His GCSEs were not as good as they should have been, partly as a result.”
Barber’s husband Daniel stood by her, but was not at court for the sentencing.
He had denied their relationship was in trouble at the time and described her as his “rock.”
Daniel had described the jury’s verdict after the second trial as a “joke.”
She had blown him a kiss after being remanded in custody following the second jury’s verdict.
Judge Dhaliwal described how Barber added herself to the victim’s Snapchat account in September 2018, exchanging messages with the boy which became sexual within a week.
She said: “You also sent images, including a topless image of yourself, and a live video in which you were masturbating.
“All of these acts are tantamount to you grooming him and pulling him in, and with significant planning on your part.”
During one incident, the court heard Barber asked the boy to meet her, going to a private field and having sex with him.
“You called him and asked to meet. He agreed and you walked into some private fields. You began kissing him. You asked if he wanted to have sex, he agreed,” said the judge.
She went on to say there had been a significant degree of planning shown by Barber’s google searches for secluded area and the Holiday Inn in Wycombe.
“Initially messages did not contain sexual contact. Within a week those messages became sexual,” added Judge Dhaliwal.
One message asked: “Do you prefer boobs or bum?”
The court heard how the teacher continued sending him texts.
Barber later told the boy to delete all messages and block her on Snapchat to stop evidence being found.
The judge continued: “There is no doubt in my mind that you acted in gross breach of trust.
“You took advantage of a child in your care and groomed him for your own sexual gratification.
“You befriended him in the full knowledge such contact was prohibited.
“You remained determined to silence him in whatever way you could,” Judge Dhaliwal said.
Barber later told the teenager that she was pregnant and was unsure whether the baby was his or her husband’s.
“This was yet another attempt by you to manipulate and control him,” the judge continued.
“You already had authority over him by the nature of your position, and to use threats to bring him down so he would comply with your demands to remain quiet, which is what I find that you did, is in my view beyond despicable,” the judge added.
Nadia Chbat, defending Barber, who wore a grey short sleeve top, black puffa jacket and blue face mask in the dock, said she had three children and two step-children.
She said: “Any period of custody will have a significant effect on her family. It will continue to have an impact on her children.”
She said she had suffered an ectopic pregnancy and had undergone surgery to have one side of her Fallopian tubes removed.
She said Barber had lost her job at the start of the investigation into the accusations and had found it difficult to adjust to the time she had spent on remand in custody following her conviction in January.
Barber was also handed a 16-month prison sentence for causing a child under 16 to watch sexual activity by a person in breach of trust and a further 10-month sentence for sexual communication, both to be served concurrently with her main sentence.
She will be required to notify police of her personal details and address for the rest of her life, as well as being barred from working with children and vulnerable adults, and being subject to a lifelong sexual harm prevention order.
Barber must register as a sex offender and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for life.
She is also barred from ever working with children.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “As a teacher, Barber would have been well aware of the vulnerability of young people, and it was her duty to safeguard those in her care.
“But, instead, she exploited her position of trust to groom and abuse this teenage boy for her own sexual gratification.
“Speaking out about child sexual abuse can be extremely challenging for victims and it’s important the victim in this case receives all the support he needs to help him come to terms with what has happened.