A WOMAN who had sex with a 14-year-old boy she met over the internet has avoided jail.
Sophie Johnson, then 20, didn’t bother to find out the teen’s true age and ignored warnings that he was too young when she had sexual relations with him on three separate days in May 2018.
Judge Sarah Mallett said Johnson has been described as young for her age and the boy mature for his.
Johnson, now 22, ended their sexual relationship when she discovered how old he was, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Johnson, from Elswick, Newcastle, admitted to five counts of having sexual activity with a child.
The judge sentenced Johnson to a community order for three years with rehabilitation requirements, and five years on the sex offenders register.
She told Johnson: “He was 14 at the time that you engaged in sexual activity with him and though you didn’t know that you certainly didn’t take a lot of steps to make sure he was as old as you initially thought he was.
“You ignored warnings you were given and took no proper steps to find out how old he was.
“This was a relationship of mutual affection in which it was not suggested there was any pressure applied or grooming of any sort.”
Prosecutor Gavin Doig told the court Johnson had started chatting to the boy on the internet and they met and had sexual relations during a four-day period.
Mr Doig added: “Miss Johnson did not reasonably believe he was 16 or over.
“She had taken no steps to ascertain his age.
“We accept her basis of plea that when she found out she desisted from sexual activity.
“Her pleas are accepted on the basis she took no steps to ascertain his age and ignored warnings of others. However, once she became certain, she desisted.”
Mr Doig said the messages between Johnson and the boy demonstrated “mutual affection” and although the victim co-operated with the prosecution, he did not wish to provide an impact statement or any additional information.
Penny Hall, defending, said Johnson had not been in trouble before or since the offences two years ago, and had lost her job and had to move away from her family home.
Ms Hall said Johnson’s mental health has been affected by the “punishment” she has already received.
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She added: “It is the position where the defendant simply didn’t do enough and when she did find out the age she stopped any sexual contact.
“She is a lady who presents with a maturity level much lower than her years.
“She has her own vulnerabilities. She’s remorseful, she’s embarrassed and you can be confident the court will not see her again.”