Shamed teaching assistant faces jail after ‘knocking woman 10ft down a road’

Registered sex offender Helen Turnbull, who had an inappropriate relationship with a boy at a school where she was a teaching assistant, arriving at Peterlee Magistrates' Court for the start of her trial.

Registered sex offender Helen Turnbull, who had an inappropriate relationship with a boy at a school where she was a teaching assistant, arriving at Peterlee Magistrates' Court for the start of her trial.

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A shamed teaching assistant who embarked on an affair with a pupil as her marriage collapsed could be facing jail after breaching a suspended sentence order.

Helen Turnbull, 36, was sentenced to four months in jail, suspended for two years, after admitting one count of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust in November last year. A Teesside Crown Court jury cleared her of three further charges.

I will pay for the car, don’t call the police.

Helen Turnbull

But she was back in court today, when she appeared before Peterlee Magistrates and admitted two charges of failure to stop after an accident and one of failure to provide a breath specimen.

Magistrates heard Turnbull had knocked one woman – Jacqueline Tobin – down on July 15, causing minor injuries, and hit her car before colliding with another car parked nearby.

Sarah Traynor, prosecuting, said Jacqueline Tobin had been pumping up the tyre of her car when she was struck.

“She saw a car about a foot away, which collided with her vehicle and knocked her 10ft down the road.”

She had suffered cuts and bruising as a result of the collision.

The owner of the second car, Mr Ward, had been alerted to the damage to his car by a man who pointed out Turnbull’s Toyota car.

When he told her the police were being called, Turnbull said: “I will pay for the car, don’t call the police.”

Miss Traynor told the court police had been called and Turnbull, of Church View, Haswell, had been taken to Peterlee police station but had refused to provide a breath specimen.

Magistrates agreed to send the case to the crown court for sentence after hearing Turnbull was subject to a suspended sentence order and that if they sentenced her, the crown court would have to be informed and would have the power to call her in and deal with her for breach of the suspended sentence.

The case was sent to Teesside Crown Court on a date to be fixed and Turnbull was released on bail.