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Mum-of-three cleared of having sex with a number of underage boys

Caroline Lea
Caroline Lea

A 36-year-old mother-of-three has been cleared of having sexual relations with a number of underage boys.

Last week, 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 an affair lasting several months with another 15-year-old boy and also denied sexually touching a third youngster of the same age.

Lea, from Blackpool, Lancashire, was today cleared by jurors at Preston Crown Court of seven counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

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

Giving evidence in her defence, Lea said 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.

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

Lea told her barrister Rosalind Emsley-Smith that she could think of no reason why the three complainants had made the allegations.

The defendant, of Clifton Drive, was also cleared of supplying a quantity of amphetamines, a Class B drug, but was found guilty of one count allowing her home to be used for smoking cannabis. She will be sentenced for that offence on February 25.