Click this for the original report from the Liverpool Echo 

August 2019

School teaching assistant groomed vulnerable pupil

A school teaching assistant that groomed a vulnerable pupil then arranged to meet him at a hotel bedroom for sex has been jailed

Lydia Beattie-Milligan told the schoolboy she might love him, saying: “OMG I cannot stop thinking about you, but I know it is wrong.”

The 43-year-old later claimed she was helping the boy, who had anxiety issues, and that an offer to give him a massage was just a joke.

The married mum-of-two insisted she only booked the hotel room to explain that she had crossed a boundary in their relationship.

But a trial heard sordid text messages, including the trained masseur telling him he was amazing, and that she couldn’t sleep or eat.

And she told a friend she was buying sexy underwear, planned to look amazing and give him a lap dance ahead of “major f***ing”.

A jury took just over an hour to unanimously find Beattie-Milligan guilty of arranging to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Beattie-Milligan, of Kingsley Close, Lydiate , had denied the charge and claimed: “I have 100% no interest in children in a sexual way.”

Concerns about the mum arose when a member of staff noticed she was paying the boy particular attention and “acting too familiar with him”.

After Beattie-Milligan gave him bonus points in class, the staff member joked with the boy that he must be her favourite, and he showed him his mobile phone with messages arranging the Saturday night hotel rendezvous.

Cheryl Mottram, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court she was suspended and police were informed, but she made no comment in interview.

A colleague believed Beattie-Milligan – described by a friend as “Mrs Robinson” from the film The Graduate – was meeting an agency teacher at the hotel, with whom she had been in a relationship and would exchange flirty messages.

Ms Mottram said: “She recalls that Lydia had been excited about the meeting and that she had bought new underwear… the Crown say she was clearly anticipating a sexual encounter.”

Beattie-Milligan told the trial she knew it was against school policy to take pupils’ phone numbers, but had the boy’s to “support him”.

Asked about sending him a message saying “Can’t wait to see you tomorrow.xx”, she claimed to “give everyone a kiss on texts”.

Beattie-Milligan said: “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. With hindsight, yes, it was completely inappropriate.”

After she text saying that she cared about him and he replied that he cared about her, the boy asked if she loved him.

She replied: “OMG I cannot stop thinking about you but I know it is wrong. You do batter my head, so maybe.”

The victim’s mum today said her son had since threatened to take his own life – on more than one occasion.

She said he was angry and emotional, no longer trusted professionals and wouldn’t talk to his family about what happened.

The mum said he had “gone off the rails”, wasn’t eating or sleeping, and another family member had required counselling.

Beattie-Milligan, of previous good character, was supported by her husband – who sat in the public gallery – during the trial.

Judge Gary Woodhall said he was perfectly satisfied Beattie-Milligan was intending to have penetrative sex with the child.

He said: “It’s clear to me you were sexually attracted to this boy, you were infatuated with him and you were encouraging similar feelings within him.”

The judge said she talked about her weekend plans with a colleague, suggesting it was with an adult, as a “cover” for what she was really doing.

He said: “You referred to trimming your body hair, you said you were going to make sure you were looking amazing, that you were going to do a lap dance for him and get some sexy underwear and in your words – not mine – in one text saying “major f***ing going on”.

Judge Woodhall said reports showed she had crossed boundaries with children before, though not sexually, seemingly out of a need to feel valued.

He said she denied any sexual motivation for her actions, but that he rejected this and it was a gross breach of trust.

Judge Woodhall said: “As a result of what you did in this incident, your life has collapsed around you.

He ordered her to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and to comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

Judge Woodhall jailed Beattie-Milligan for two years, who turned to her mum in the public gallery and said: “Tell the kids I love them.”

July 2019

Teaching assistant arranged to meet schoolboy in hotel bedroom

A school teaching assistant who arranged to meet a schoolboy in a hotel bedroom was told to sign on the sex offenders register.

Married mum-of-two Lydia Beattie-Milligan claimed in court that she had been helping the boy, who had anxiety issues, and said at the time she had been suffering from emotional problems.

An offer to give the teenager a massage was just a joke, she claimed.

The 43-year-old said she had realised she had crossed a boundary in their teacher-pupil relationship and booked a hotel room to explain that to him.

But a jury, who heard her text messages included telling him he was amazing and she could not sleep or eat, took just an hour to convict her of arranging to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Judge Gary Woodhall ordered her to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and told the blonde-haired defendant: ”Giving you bail and ordering a pre-sentence report is not to be taken as any indication of sentence I will impose.

“You must come to court aware of the fact that you may receive an immediate custodial sentence.”

Beattie-Milligan, of Kingsley Close, Lydiate, Merseyside, had denied the charge and told the jurors: “I have 100% no interest in children in a sexual way.”

Sentence was adjourned until September.

Cheryl Mottram, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that concerns about the defendant, who had 25 years experience as a teaching assistant or learning facilitator, first arose when another member of staff at the school noticed she appeared to be paying the boy particular attention and was “acting too familiar with him in the corridor”.

After she gave him bonus points in class, he joked with the boy that he must be her favourite and he showed him his mobile phone with messages from her arranging a night at a hotel for them both on a Saturday night.

She was suspended and the police informed. Beattie-Milligan made no comment in interview.

Miss Mottram said that a colleague believed that Beattie-Milligan, who had been described as “Mrs Robinson” from the film The Graduate, was meeting an agency teacher at the hotel. They had been in relationship previously and they would exchange flirty messages.

She said: “She recalls that Lydia had been excited about the meeting and that she had bought new underwear… the Crown say she was clearly anticipating a sexual encounter.”

The defendant told the court that she knew it was against school policy to take phone numbers or personal email addresses from pupils but said she had the boy’s mobile number to “support him”.

She said she had quickly built up a close relationship with the boy within a short time of him enrolling at the school but claimed she was also close to other pupils to help and support them.

Asked about a message to him saying: “Can’t wait to see you tomorrow.xx” she claimed “I give everyone a kiss on my texts, it is what I do, there was nothing in it.

“I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. With hindsight, yes, it was completely inappropriate.”

After she texted that she cared about him he replied that he cared about her too.

“Does that mean you love me?” he asked.

She replied: “OMG I cannot stop thinking about you but I know it is wrong. You do batter my head, so maybe.”

Quizzed about this she said: “That is when I started to realise the lines were getting blurred.”

Miss Mottram said: “Your response is not to nip this in the bud straight away?”

“No,” she replied.

She continued: “I was all over the place at the time. Now I think about it, it was completely wrong. He did make me happy. I think I may have been a little bit drunk, I cannot remember sending it.”

Asked about another message in which she said: “Can’t wait to see you tomorrow” she said: “I would say that to anyone.”

Beattie-Milligan said that a message she sent saying: “I have got all these feelings, so wrong, but I can’t help it” were emotional feelings and it did not mean “I wanted to jump into bed with him.”

She said she had realised she had to “sort this out” and tell him what he thought was a relationship “cannot go on”.

She claimed that some of the messages recovered, including mention of lap dancing, had not been sent to the boy but to the agency teacher she had had a relationship with.

Other comments about “getting really turned on” related to a learning facilitator at the school.

Miss Mottram pointed out there were messages to the boy, who declined to help the prosecution case, about beer and Prosecco and asked why she had not arranged to meet the boy in the hotel bar rather than booking a hotel room.

She replied: “I wanted to stay and get away from everything and get a good night’s sleep if I’m honest.”

She said she had only planned to spend a limited time with him “in order to have a conversation”.

The court heard that she had sent him a text about the hotel plan saying: “All booked babes in Haydock.” She claimed: “Babes is a word I used lightly, it has no meaning.”

After her conviction her barrister Jason Smith said that she had been supported by her husband, who sat in the public gallery during her trial. He said a psychological report had been prepared but he asked for an adjournment so a pre-sentence could also be prepared.