October 2011

Woman, 33, who pretended to be nurse to lure 14-year-old boy for sex is spared jail

A mother-of-two who pretended to be a nurse to lure a 14-year-old boy over the internet for sex has escaped jail.

Claire Marquis, 33, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, ‘met’ the teenager by using PlayStation and Xbox gaming networks and claimed she was a 24-year-old nurse to entice him.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that she then swapped mobile phone numbers with boy before sending him explicit images using the device. She also persuaded the boy to send her explicit pictures.

Marquis also encouraged the teenager, who lived in Cheshire, to watch her perform sex acts online.

The court was told that Marquis even suggested arranging a hotel for sex although the meeting never took place.

Her actions carried on for 18 months and only came to light when her husband discovered what she was doing and informed both police and the teenager of the deceit.

By the time that Marquis’s lies were exposed her innocent teenage victim had fallen in love with her and was devastated when he discovered the shocking truth.

Marquis – branded as ‘sinister’ by the judge escaped prison after pleading guilty to five sexual offences.

She was handed a 12-month suspended sentence and given a care and intervention order. She was also sentenced to 200 hours community service and put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

She had previously admitted two counts of inciting a child to commit a sexual act, two counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act and possessing indecent images of children.

Judge Christopher Ball QC, said: ‘The offences you have admitted occurred over a considerable period of time and have elements to them which are both sexual and which are actually cruel.

‘You quite wittingly came into this relationship over the internet with a young boy and led him down an emotional path which has caused him emotional upset and anguish.

‘You, as a mature woman, were in control and had the power to stop it at any moment.

‘It was a scheme dreamt up to give you some degree of excitement in what was becoming a dull and monotonous life.

‘But you had the good sense to stop short of engaging him directly and had the good sense to plead guilty.’

Afterwards Detective Sergeant, from Essex Police’s online investigation team, said: ‘It is hoped that this investigation will highlight to parents the risks associated with the use of gamer networks.

‘The risks of social networking are regularly reported on, but parents should be aware that the gamer networks are just another form of this.

‘I would encourage parents to take an interest in what there children are doing and who with, when on these networks.