Teacher accused of having sex with teenage pupils ‘gaslighting jury into thinking she is the victim’, court hears

15 May 2024, 15:44

Rebecca Joynes
Rebecca Joynes. Picture: Alamy/Bruce Adams/Daily Mail
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A teacher who stands accused of having sex with two teenage pupils has been "gaslighting the jury into thinking she is almost the victim", a court has heard.

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Rebecca Joynes, 30, is on trial accused of six counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child, including two while being a person in a position of trust. She denies all charges.

Appearing in court today, prosecutors accused Joynes of a "naked attempt to garner sympathy" from the jury by having a pink baby's bonnet visibly tucked into her trouser front.

The bonnet belonged to the child fathered by one of the teenagers she is accused of having sex with and whose virginity she took, Manchester Crown Court heard today.

Prosecutors also argued today that jurors would not have a "shred" of sympathy for a teacher accusing of having sex with two teenage pupils if the accused was a man.

Joe Allman, prosecuting, told the court in his closing speech: "She's aware of the optics here. She's not stupid. Is Miss Joynes, more shrewd than she lets on?"

School teacher Rebecca Joynes arrives at Manchester Crown Court
School teacher Rebecca Joynes arrives at Manchester Crown Court. Picture: Alamy

Joynes had already been suspended from her job and was on bail for alleged sexual activity with boy A, 15, when she allegedly started a sexual relationship with boy B, who she later became pregnant by.

Jurors have heard that both boys sent her flirty Snapchat messages before boy A was taken shopping, bought a £350 Gucci belt and went back to her flat on Salford Quays where they had sex, with his semen later recovered from her bedsheets by police.

Boy B claims sexual activity began when he was 15 with kissing and full sex when he was 16 and while he was still a pupil.

Joynes claims no sexual activity ever took place with boy A and a relationship developed with boy B while she was suspended from her job and only became sexual after she was dismissed and he had left school at 16, so no offence had taken place.

Read More: Teacher accused of having sex with pupil told him 'every inch of you is perfect' and he was 'all I ever dream about'

Read More: Teacher Rebecca Joynes, 30, says she was ‘lonely’ and ‘liked the attention’ after admitting boy, 15, spent night at flat

Mr Allman said of the baby's bonnet worn by Joynes: "That was a pretty naked attempt to garner your sympathy."

He suggested boy B had been accused of "gaslighting" her during their stormy relationship when she became pregnant. Mr Allman said: "Who is being gaslit, and who is doing the gaslighting?

"Is what is going on here, is: she hopes you will treat her very differently because she is a woman and not a man, and you will see this case differently because she's a woman and not a man?"

He questioned whether the boys would have been "disparaged in the same way in an attempt to discredit them if they were two girls of similar age".

Had Rebecca Joynes, petite, described as "pretty" and softly-spoken, been "Robert" Joynes, a 30-year-old man, and the complainants had been girls, Mr Allman said it would not have been suggested to them they were "up for it" or the ones wanting sex, "because that would have been quite obscene".

And he suggested Joynes would like jurors to forget she is a responsible, mature adult teacher and the boys were teenage children and school pupils.

"It has the effect of warping the picture, so she almost becomes the victim and the boys the perpetrators."

He asked the jury of seven men and five women to imagine "Robert" a 28-year-old teacher, just out of a nine-year relationship, lonely, good-looking, who schoolgirls pay a lot of attention to, flatter and make inappropriate comments to.

The prosecutor outlined a scenario where the male teacher exchanges Snapchat messages, buys one girl a £350 belt and takes her back to his flat, while a second teenager falls pregnant to "Robert".

"Are you in any doubt about what's happened here?" Mr Allman said.

"You would not have one shred of sympathy for Robert. This thought experiment drags Miss Joynes' defence into the light."

Rebecca Joynes
Rebecca Joynes. Picture: Bruce Adams / Daily Mail

Earlier, Joynes told the jury she had ruined her "dream job" with stupid "mistakes" by meeting up with the two teenagers and having them back at her flat, but denied under-age sex.

Both boys were 15 when Joynes began taking each one into her flat and both had been communicating with her on Snapchat - where messages are deleted and not recoverable by police.

In both cases, the activity was a secret from their parents and they both flirted with her, boy A calling her "sexy" and boy B sending her a message saying: "Get your tits out."

Joynes admitted she had split after a nine-year relationship, was lonely and flattered by the attention.

In a letter, she wrote to boy B, saying: "Every inch of you is perfect. You are all I ever dream about."

Joynes sobbed as she told jurors their baby was taken away from her hours after giving birth and she now only has limited access, three times a week.

She denies six counts of sexual activity with a child, including two while being a person in a position of trust.

The trial continues.