July 2005

Woman’s suspended jail term after sex with 13-year-old boy

A WOMAN who had sex with a 13-year-old boy narrowly escaped an immediate prison sentence yesterday.

Marie Williams, 37, twice seduced the boy, the first time after she plied him with alcohol, before the consensual sex took place.

Durham Crown Court heard the woman knew the boy was asthmatic and therefore should not have had alcohol, which had potential health risks.

As a result, he became so ill he spent two days in hospital.

Stephen Orange, prosecuting, said the first incident took place in a wooded dene early one morning, while the second, a week later, was at her home.

Mr Orange said she was aware of his age and she told the boy many times not to tell anyone or that “she would be put away”.

The boy’s parents became suspicious when she asked to take him shopping and refused to allow him to go with her. His parents found his attitude changed and he became disrespectful to them.

Mr Orange said that after the second incident, the boy tried to harm himself, saying he was confused.

Eventually, he told his parents what had happened and they reported it to police, who arrested Williams.

When questioned, she made no reply, but she was charged with two counts of sexual activity with a child.

Williams, of Smillie Road, Horden, east Durham, of previous good character, admitted the charges at an earlier hearing.

She also asked for two counts of indecently touching the boy to be taken into consideration.

Sentence was adjourned until yesterday for preparation of psychiatric and probation reports.

Jane Waugh, in mitigation, described Williams as a woman with psychiatric difficulties who had a difficult background, having been in a previous abusive relationship.

Miss Waugh said that after Williams’ arrest, she spent ten days in a hospital psychiatric ward and is remorseful and regrets her actions.

Judge Esmond Faulks described it as wholly unacceptable behaviour in a civilised society.

He said that, given the age difference, he had to impose a prison sentence, but due to the background circumstances, was able to make it a suspended sentence.

Williams was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also placed on supervision for two years and must sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.