Fenland primary school worker found guilty of having sex with 12-year-old boy told to expect lengthy jail sentence
A CHATTERIS primary school worker who was found guilty of having sex with a 12-year-old child has been told to expect a lengthy jail sentence.
A jury found Diane Pullar, 31, guilty of six charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child after deliberating for more than two days. She was convicted on a majority verdict of 10-2.
The former playtime assistant at Glebelands School, in Chatteris, had pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Pullar, of Tithe Road, Chatteris, was told by Judge Anthony Bate that a lengthy prison sentence was inevitable. He then rejected pleas from barrister Michael Proctor to grant her bail before sentencing.
Cambridgeshire County Council have also confirmed that Pullar has been sacked from her job.
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In a trial spanning almost two weeks, Cambridge Crown Court heard that Pullar had sex with the boy on at least five occasions at locations including her house, her garden caravan and in woods near to her home.
On the first occasion Pullar had sex with the boy, she slept with him in a tent positioned on a trampoline in her back garden.
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She groomed the boy sending him secret text messages and encouraging him to bunk off school so they could meet up for sex. The relationship was only exposed when a friend walked in on the pair together in their underwear.
Pullar will be sentenced on Friday, March 4 at 2pm.
Earlier reports from the trial:
A PRIMARY school worker accused of grooming a 12-year-old boy for sex told jurors his claims are a lie.
Diane Pullar denied she had full penetrative sex with the youngster and had sent him text messages to arrange meetings.
However prosecutor Claire Matthews told the Chatteris mum-of-two: “The reason he has come to court and told this jury what happened between you is not because it is some sort of fantasy. It is the truth.”
She went onto to say the pair had a “very grown up, sexual relationship” and said: “He’s got nothing to gain from lying to us, has he?”
Pullar replied: “But he’s lying.”
The 31-year-old, who worked at Glebelands Primary School, in Chatteris, has pleaded not guilty to six charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child.
The counts relate to incidents which are alleged to have taken place between April and July 2009.
The 12-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons and did not attend the defendant’s school, said he and Pullar first had sex in a tent.
Another boy also allegedly walked in on them but Pullar said: “None of that ever took place.”
Giving evidence today (Friday) at Cambridge Crown Court, she confirmed she had been told to act responsibly when working with children at school.
Miss Matthews said: “No doubt you are very frightened about the consequences of this trial.
“However, the truth is that you and him had a very grown up, sexual relationship that summer.
“You may regret it but it is true.”
Later 43-year-old Robbi Jones gave evidence to say he had a one night stand with Pullar in 2008 after meeting in The George pub in March.
The Tydd Gote resident, nicknamed Boney, said he remembered her distinctive piercing after they had sex in a van before Christmas.
Mr Jones gave her his phone number when he bumped into Pullar a couple of weeks ago, after she asked if he was willing to speak to someone before the trial.
A TEENAGE boy who claims to have had sex with a Chatteris school dinner lady during a four-month affair has described the woman’s intimate physical appearance to a jury today.
By video link the schoolboy has given details of Diane Pullar’s appearance, including spots on her bottom and stretch marks on her thighs.
The boy had failed to recall all her distinguishing remarks. He did not describe a birth mark or a piercing.
The jury at Cambridge Crown Court heard that a total of 156 text messages were sent by Pullar to the boy over a two-day period in August 2009. The defence claims it was to test how many messages could be stored on the boy’s phone.
During cross-examination, the boy said he was confronted about his relationship with Pullar by his parents.
Michael Procter, defence barrister, said: “I suggest that you got together with your mother and father and made these things up to make things look bad for Diane Pullar.” The boy denied this.
Pullar, 31, of Tithe Road, Chatteris, a former play leader at Glebelands Primary School in Chatteris, denies six charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child.
It is alleged that she had sex with the boy on at least five occasions in locations including her house, her garden caravan and woods near her home.
The boy claims that Pullar told him she was on the pill and used injections for contraception. He said his family had confronted him about a possible sexual relationship with Pullar in summer 2009.
He said: “The first time we managed to convince them it was not true.”
When it was suggested there had been no sexual activity the teenager replied: “It did happen, there was sexual activity.”
Mr Procter said: “You may have found her attractive and had a crush on her. Your one attempt to turn that into something, you were rebuffed. Is that what this is all about?”
The boy replied: “No, this is true.”
Yesterday jurors heard that Pullar, a mother of two, first had sex with the boy in a tent outside her home. It is alleged she groomed the boy after her daughter became friends with the boy’s younger brother.
Pullar first became friends with the boy and his family in 2008 but began a relationship with him the following year, said Claire Matthews, prosecuting.
On the first occasion that it is alleged they had sex, in May 2009, the boy - then 12 - had been watching horror films with Pullar in a tent positioned on a trampoline in her back garden.
Mrs Matthews told the court: “He said it kind of just happened. There was kissing. She was talking as if she was really enjoying it and telling him he was good looking.”
The jury heard that Pullar’s boyfriend had found her with the boy in the tent wearing only their underwear. Pullar calmed him down by saying they had taken clothes off because they were too hot.
Mrs Matthews said: “After that first time she had told him not to tell anyone or they would both get into really bad trouble.”
It was alleged in court that Pullar had sent secret texts to her victim and on one occasion straddled him on a trampoline whilst her cleavage was exposed.
She had told him she loved him and encouraged him to bunk off school to meet up for sex, said Mrs Matthews.
She said: “Diane Pullar was involved in a full-blown sexual relationship with a child. She would collect him from school in her car. She sent him text messages saying things such as ‘Love you loads, remember to delete this, xxx’.”
The jury heard that the relationship ended after the families had a dispute in October 2009. Police were called to investigate in April 2010 after a friend of the victim walked in on the pair “messing around” at Pullar’s home and told his mother.
The jury watched a video of a police interview with the boy conducted in April last year, when he was 13 years old. In it, the boy said he had had sex with Pullar on numerous occasions and that after a couple of months he “began to trust her”.
The court heard that the boy - now 14 - had never had sex with anyone else and did not wear a condom during any of the incidents as Pullar had said she was on the pill.
Mr Procter said that Pullar had not encouraged the boy to miss school and that he had already been in trouble for a string of unauthorised absences before the alleged affair.
He said: “Shortly after the incident when this is supposed to have started your attendance actually improved rather than got worse.”
Referring to the first occasion when it is alleged the pair had sex, Mr Proctor said that the boy had “insisted” that Pullar join him in the tent.
He said: “I’m going to suggest to you that throughout the period that we are talking about you had something of a crush on Diane Pullar.”
The boy replied: “A little bit I suppose”.
Mr Procter also questioned why the boy’s account of how many times the pair had slept together had changed in different statements.
He said: “Are you actually remembering things accurately or are you covering up the fact that what you have told us about you and Diane Pullar is a complete fantasy on your behalf?”
The boy replied: “I’m not covering up anything. I’m telling the truth.”
It was emphasised in court that the boy has no connection with the school at which Pullar worked.