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Mum of three denies having threesome with boy (15) and friend

CourtsBy Sunday World
Caroline Lea outside court this week
Caroline Lea outside court this week

A 36-year-old mother-of-three has denied having sexual relationships with a number of underage boys.

Caroline Lea told a jury that she had not taken part in a threesome with a 15-year-old boy and his young friend in her bed.

She also said she had not had a sexual affair with another 15-year-old boy and also denied sexually touching a third youngster of the same age.

All of the alleged offences are said to have taken place between December 2013 and March 2014 at her former home in Blackpool, Lancashire, where the Crown say she allowed young boys to gather and smoke cannabis and drink alcohol.

Giving evidence in her defence at Preston Crown Court, Lea explained she had an alcohol problem during that period after she lost her job at the Department For Work and Pensions (DWP) because of depression.

She accepted that male youths congregated at her house "in and out" at the time but said she would regularly ask them to leave her property.

Lea said some of the youths tried to gatecrash a Bonfire Night party at her house in 2013 which she said "absolutely catapulted into unbelievable nightmares from that day on".

She said she was left "soul-destroyed" by the time police arrested her following the sexual allegations.

She said: "Things started getting rowdy, things started going missing, they were just being disrespectful really.

"I asked them to leave pretty much every night."

Lea told her barrister, Rosalind Emsley-Smith, that the two boys said to have engaged in a threesome with her had never been in her bedroom.

Miss Emsley-Smith asked: "Did you ever have sex with either of them?"

She replied: "Never."

The barrister added: "Did you have sex with them together?"

Lea said: "Never."

She also denied ever having sex with another 15-year-old who claims the pair slept together almost daily for several months.

A third complainant, also aged 15, says Lea sexually touched him while he was sat on her sofa but the defendant told the jury it was the youth who tried to kiss her and she pulled away.

She said he was drunk during the incident and was intoxicated on a separate occasion when he again attempted to kiss her.

Miss Emsley-Smith asked her: "Are you able to think of any reason why (the three complainants) would make the allegations they have made?"

Lea replied: "I could stand and second guess but I have no idea."

Miss Emsley-Smith went on: "Is there any truth in the allegations they have made?"

The defendant said: "Absolutely none."

Lea, of Clifton Drive, Blackpool, denies seven counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child and one count of allowing her home to be used for smoking cannabis.

She has been cleared of a ninth count of supplying a quantity of amphetamines, a Class B drug, because of insufficient evidence.

Lea agreed with Francis McEntee, cross-examining, she had been "quite heavily dependent" on alcohol and smoked cannabis "from time to time".

She added she was on medication for depression and told the court it was a "bad combination".

But she denied her problems led to inappropriate relationships with underage boys and said she did not allow them to drink alcohol or smoke cannabis at her house.

Challenged that she had a threesome with a 15-year-old and his friend, who has not given evidence in the trial, she said: "I don't like skinny blokes. The fact they are 15 says it all. Why would I?"

Mr McEntee said: "The getting drunk together, the smoking of cannabis together, that's what it's about?

"Let's see what experience I can get out of these young lads."

Lea said: "No."

Mr McEntee suggested she had told the two boys "I thought you boys would know what to do" and Lea was "playing very much the Mrs Robinson role in this".

The witness replied: "No."

Turning to the allegations as a whole, Mr McEntee said to the defendant: "You just revelled in these young boys being around your address."

"No," she replied.

The barrister continued: "There is really no reason why these young men would make up these allegations."

Lea said: "Unless they are getting money but I don't know. I could say this reason, that reason, but I don't know."

The trial continues on Monday.