Woman who groomed boy, 12, into clandestine sex trysts is jailed for five and a half years

Jodie Delray has been jailed for five years (Picture: Norfolk Constabulary)

A 35-year-old woman has been jailed for five-and-a-half years after she sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy.

Jodie Delray was found guilty of sexual assault and sexual activity with the boy after a nine-day trial ended yesterday.

Prosector William Carter claimed that there was an element of grooming in her behaviour, and pointed to the vast age gap between her and the victim as an aggravating feature of the abuse.

Defending Delray, Michael Clare said she was at a very low risk of re-offending and said she was concerned about the impression she had given to the court after being advised to not show any emotion.

‘She feels she has been let down in the way she presented herself’, he said.

He also said that Delray was vulnerable with numerous health problems, including chronic fatigue syndrome.

‘Custody for her will be all the more punishment for her. She is someone who will find it extremely difficult’, he said.

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Sentencing Delray, Judge Anthony Bale said he accepted the word of her friends that she was a good character, but admitted that he had a ‘public duty’ after she was convicted by the jury of six of nine counts she faced and said: “I can do nothing in this case other than my public duty.”

Judge Bate told Norwich Crown Court that Delray had started by sexually assaulting the boy, which acted as a ‘precursor’ to them going on to engage in full sex.

“Full sex began to occur initiated by you. These clandestine sex trysts continued for some time’, he said.

He also said the Appeal Court had stressed that a teenage boy is often ‘ill-equipped’ to cope with a premature sexual experience.

Delray, who wept in the dock as she was sentenced, was also slapped with a sexual harm prevention order.

 

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