Cindy Leanne Howell

Posted: November 22, 2012 by Serendipity in Victoria
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Aide gets five years for sex with boy

By Daniella Miletic
County Court Reporter
November 5, 2005

A FEMALE teacher’s aide who sexually preyed on a 15-year-old student has been jailed for five years.

Cindy Leanne Howell, 36, worked at a high school on the Mornington Peninsula when she had a relationship with the student between February and October last year.

She pleaded guilty to one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 16 and will serve a minimum term of 2½ years.

Howell was married and a mother of four. The victim was dating her daughter when the relationship began. On the first night he stayed at Howell’s house, she offered him oral sex.

Howell had sex with the teenager at her home, at his home, and in a car at a nearby beach. She once rubbed his penis under the table in class.

She also told another student at the school that the victim was “the best (sex) she had ever had”.

County Court judge Jan Pannam said that when the boy tried to end the relationship, Howell persisted. Eventually, the victim told the school principal who alerted his mother and the police.

“Although the victim indicated he did not wish to engage in sexual activity, you insisted,” Judge Pannam said.

Howell gave him gifts, including a bracelet, a ring, a double bed, a stereo and a PlayStation.

When police interviewed her last November, Howell said: “I know I enjoyed it and I most probably shouldn’t, but I did. I felt wanted again … I felt loved.”

The court was told Howell was addicted to alcohol and was severely depressed at the time. One psychologist diagnosed her with bipolar disorder.

Crown prosecutor Kieran Gilligan, at a previous hearing, compared Howell’s offence to that of physical education teacher Karen Ellis.

Ellis, who was jailed in May after admitting to an affair with a year 10 student, was yesterday released from the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre at the end of her six-month sentence. Ellis was originally handed a 22-month suspended term, but was jailed after an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Ellis, who is now listed on a sex offenders’ register, will consider telling her story to a magazine, according to one of her lawyers who spoke to Channel Nine yesterday.



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