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A judge waded into the debate on teenage thugs, warning that parents must share responsibility for crimes committed by their children.

Judge Richard Bray spoke out as he ordered the parents of two girls who took part in a violent street robbery to pay the victim compensation.

Danielle Healey, 15, and 16-year-old Sabrina Gemmell, were among a gang of four teenagers who attacked a 15-year-old boy.

Sentencing the four at Northampton Crown Court, Judge Bray said of the case: "What is plain is that, sadly, parental supervision was not being exercised - at 11pm, drunk and involved in violence and robbery.

"It's been a positive feature today, the attendance of parents and some acknowledgement of responsibility of what happened.

"Some would say that what lies at the heart of violence and disorder in young people today is a lack of responsibility at the heart of a family."

The court heard Brandon Rourke, 16, and Kieran Hall, 17, headbutted, punched and kicked Craig Haggan in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, after demanding cigarettes and his mobile phone.

As he lay at their feet, the girls searched his pockets. The gang stopped only when a passer-by intervened.

The girls, both from Wellingborough, were each given a 12-month supervision order and their parents were ordered to pay £200 compensation.

Rourke, of Northampton, and Hall, from Wellingborough, were given ten-month detention and training orders. All admitted robbery.

Rourke was a habitual shoplifter who had breached bail after his arrest and escaped when officers tried to arrest him. He was sent to a secure training centre for eight months for escaping lawful custody, which will run consecutively with yesterday's sentence.

Judge Bray's views come in the wake of controversy over drink-fuelled teenage violence. At the weekend, Cheshire Chief Constable Peter Fahy called for the drinking age to be raised to 21 and a crackdown on drinking in public after father-ofthree Garry Newlove was kicked to death by a teenage mob outside his Warrington home.

A maths teacher's affair with a 16-year-old pupil was uncovered when his estranged wife found he had sent the girl dozens of text messages.

Julian Cawston, 43, became friendly with the girl while helping her prepare for mock GCSE exams.

But their relationship soon became sexual, with trysts in his car and at his home. Six weeks on, they had full sex.

The balding maths teacher was arrested after his wife found a phone bill which showed he had texted the girl around 200 times in a month.

Another family member then contacted the school, which in turn alerted the police.

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Abuse: Maths teacher Julian Cawston admitted an abuse of trust when he had sex with his 16-year-old pupil

Cawston's career is in tatters after he admitted two counts of inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity and four charges of abusing a position of trust.

He faces up to five years in jail after magistrates in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, bailed him for sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court.

Magistrates' chairman Carolyn Heyward told him: "It is likely the punishment will be greater than can be imposed in this court."

Magistrates can impose up to six months in jail for each charge or up to a maximum of one year for consecutive terms.

Cawston became close to the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, while helping her prepare for exams in January this year.

Rachel Mahoney, prosecuting, said: "Mr Cawston offered to give her lifts home with her parents' agreement."

He later began giving the girl private tuition at his house, which his wife left last year when they separated barely a year after marrying.

It was on May 8 this year that the relationship became sexual.

The couple engaged in sex acts in Cawston's Vauxhall Astra around the villages of Lavenham and Alpheton, and at his home in Sudbury.

They had full sex on June 20 and were last together the following day. Cawston was charged on July 17 following an investigation by Suffolk police.

He is understood to have been suspended from his job and subsequently resigned.

His last entry on the Friends Reunited website, dated 2005, says: "Teaching secondary mathematics for a living (who'd have thought it eh!)

"Enjoying it very much - but also realising the hell I put my teachers through at school. Oh well, what goes around comes around."

The disgraced teacher, a keen mountain walker who has moved to Presteigne, Powys, mid-Wales, was also placed on the sex offenders register after Monday's court hearing.

Hugh Rowling, defending, said Cawston had an "exemplary" teaching record and claimed he had not deliberately targeted the girl.

"The relationship developed slowly over a period of time and was entirely consensual," he said.

"Neither of them felt or knew they were doing anything wrong."

A county council spokesman said: "We can confirm that the individual involved is no longer working at the school.

"We will refer the case to the Department for Children, Schools and Families, which will decide whether he should be placed on the list barring individuals from working with children and young people in the future."