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Mum of three gave boy (15) drugs to 'keep him awake for sex'

CourtsBy Sunday World
Caroline Lea
Caroline Lea

A 15-year-old boy was given drugs by a 36-year-old mother-of-three to keep him awake for sex, a court has heard.

Caroline Lea is said to have slept with the youngster on a regular basis for several months before he said he realised he needed to find a girlfriend of his own age.

The defendant, from Blackpool, Lancashire, is also accused of taking part in a threesome with another 15-year-old complainant and his young friend, as well as allegedly sexually touching a third boy of the same age.

Lea denies committing any sexual offences and told police that the threesome allegation was "nonsense".

A jury at Preston Crown Court today heard evidence from her accusers including a youth who said Lea initiated their first sexual encounter by inviting him to her bedroom to watch a film.

In his police interview, the complainant said he was "shocked" and pushed Lea away on her bed when she tried to kiss him but then "changed my mind because I'm a lad".

He said the defendant performed oral sex on him before they had intercourse in several positions.

He said: "We did everything really. Everything you name, everything she wanted to do."

The interviewing detective asked him: "What ended that first sexual encounter?"

The teenager replied: "We stopped because we were tired."

The sexual relationship continued as he stayed over at her former home in the resort, the court was told.

He added: "Sometimes I was a bit tired and she would give me speed (amphetamines) to stay awake."

He said the defendant was usually sober during sex except for one occasion.

Asked what made him decide to stop the alleged relationship, he said: "Because it was wrong, because I'm 15.

"I have a life ahead of me. I have got to go out and get a girlfriend of my own age."

He said he also listened to the advice of his friends who told him the defendant was "ruining" his life.

Lea, of Clifton Drive, denies seven counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child on various dates between December 2013 and March 2014.

She has also pleaded not guilty to one count of allowing her home to be used for smoking cannabis and a separate count of supplying amphetamines, a Class B drug, to another.

Opening the case on Monday, prosecutor Francis McEntee said the alleged sexual offences took place against a backdrop of Lea allowing young boys to smoke cannabis and drink alcohol at her former address.

One of the complainants told police his friend suggested "a three-way" with the defendant and then it "just happened".

He described how the trio went to the upstairs bedroom of Lea, who then laid on the bed wearing pyjama shorts and a vest top.

As the then 15-year-old and his friend sat on her settee for five minutes, he said Lea told them: "Come on boys, I thought you knew what you were doing."

Both went on to have full intercourse with the defendant, he said, who also performed oral sex on the pair.

Cross-examined by defending barrister Rosalind Emsley-Smith, the youth - giving evidence today via video-link - admitted he told friends about the alleged threesome but denied he bragged about it.

He denied he had any discussions about a claim for compensation and also that he was asked "fairly regularly" to leave the house when he visited or that he would climb through windows to get back in.

He also disagreed with the barrister's suggestion that he had the "capacity to be threatening or aggressive if things would not go your way".

The jury was told the youth had previously been reprimanded by police for an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, given a warning for attempted robbery and received a caution last year for possession of cannabis.

It was also said he was involved with others in carrying out anti-social behaviour in the area.

After he was asked to explain how the "threesome" happened, Miss Emsley-Smith said to the complainant: "The reality of this is that you are struggling to remember the details of this event to the jury because it did not happen."

The witness replied: "It did happen."

He had told the jury that he had sat on a black leather two-seater settee in her bedroom before sex but Miss Emsley-Smith said that detail was not correct and was "part and parcel of the lie you are telling".

The youth said: "Well, I'm not telling a lie."

The third complainant said he too was a regular visitor to Lea's home where he would smoke cannabis and drink alcohol.

He said he was "pretty drunk" when the defendant kissed him on her downstairs settee and was "shocked" when she later touched his private parts when she bent down from behind, the jury heard.

He agreed with Miss Emsley-Smith that he was part of "a gang" including the two other complainants and the group was responsible for committing anti-social behaviour in the area.

The court heard he was also a prolific offender who had already had a string of convictions.

The barrister said: "These convictions tell a story of someone who does not have a great deal of respect for authority?"

The witness replied: "Yes."

Miss Emsley-Smith continued: "Similarly you did not have any respect for Caroline during this period of time?

"No," he agreed.

The barrister added: "And you would use her house as a dosshouse and you would not be bothered if she wanted you there or not?"

The witness said: "Yes but she never asked us to leave."

Miss Emsley-Smith said: "The reality is that you attended at this house already intoxicated having been to a party and you tried to kiss Caroline. She told you 'no' and tried to throw you out of the house, that is what happened."

"No," said the complainant.

The barrister said: "And your relationship with Caroline is all part and parcel of, in fact, you and your friends using her, stealing from her, having no respect and generally taking the mickey."

"Yes," the witness agreed.

Miss Emsley-Smith said: "You and your friends were an intimidating presence?"

He replied: "We were 14, 15. How would we be intimidating?"

The barrister pointed out that he made his statement to the police after he learned of the allegations made by his friends.

She said: "You have come to tell these lies and jump on the bandwagon."

The witness said: "Lies, what lies? Why would I lie? I didn't want to come here today."

The trial continues on Wednesday.