A primary school teacher in the UK has been jailed for a year for sending lewd texts to a 14-year-old boy. She got close to him through World of Warcraft, an Internet game. Lynn Walls, 42, obtained the juvenile's number through the interactive World of Warcraft site before she began to rely on him emotionally and falsely claimed to him that she had breast cancer.
She then sent the boy, from London, a series of graphic texts in November 2007 which outlined what she intended to do with him if they met.
Walls, from Penshaw, Sunderland, who had a son herself, was a primary school teacher in County Durham at the time and of previous good character.
She was caught out when his father read them. She has since been sacked by her school authorities.
Newcastle Crown Court heard her behaviour had caused lasting damage to the schoolboy, who became withdrawn, guilty, abusive and had suicidal thoughts.
Nick Peacock, defending, said she had been married for 20 years until she discovered her husband was having an affair.
She became a recluse and spent hours playing World of Warcraft, described in court as highly addictive, in which players create virtual characters.
He said she designed someone who was thin, attractive and blonde and had told police: "That character was everything I was not."
The case had "destroyed her days and haunted her nights" and she accepted she was virtually unemployable.
Jailing her, Judge Richard Lowden also banned her from working with children for life, and put her on the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.
He told Walls: "It is not just the grossly inappropriate sexual conduct of the message that has done the damage, but to my mind, more damaging was the emotional burden that you put upon that boy, so that in the end he felt responsible for you."