GREATER Manchester Police (GMP) has urged the public to "think before they speak" when discussing the sentencing of Wirral teacher Rebecca Joynes for six sexual offences against two school boys.

 Joynes, 30, of Pensby Road, Thingwall, groomed the youngsters from the age of 15 at a school where she was teaching in Greater Manchester, and was on bail for sexual activity with the first child, Boy A, when she began having sex with the second, Boy B, who she went on to become pregnant by.

Neither boy can be identified.

Joynes had been found guilty by a jury of six counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child, including two while being a person in a position of trust, following a two-week trial at the court in May.

She was sentenced to six and a half years in prison today (Thursday, July 4).

Detective Constable Beth Alexander, of our Child Protection Investigation Unit in Salford, said: “Rebecca Joynes abused her position of trust as a teacher and used it to manipulate and abuse two boys. It is completely incomprehensible the impact this has had on those young men and their families. School should be a place of safety for children.

“It’s clear from some of the public commentary when Joynes was convicted that there is still a lack of understanding when it comes to men and boys being the victims of sexual offences. They have had to read comments stating others are ‘jealous’ of them, and that they should be’ happy a young female teacher was interested in them’, and this rhetoric is very damaging and dangerous.

“Women can still be paedophiles; this term is not reserved only for men. Men and boys can still be victims of sexual abuse. I would encourage anyone who wants to pass comment on this case really thinks before they speak, about the impact their words could have on not only those affected by this case, but others who are currently out there suffering.

“These victims have been incredibly brave speaking up about what has happened to them, and I hope this investigation gives other men and boys who may be being sexually exploited the confidence to come forward. We will take your allegations seriously and treat you with dignity and respect.

“Our commitment to protecting children is unwavering. Speaking out about sexual abuse is incredibly difficult, but I ask that those who believe they are going through something similar, report this to us. We will support you, investigate, and act robustly against perpetrators.”