Sarina mother jailed for sleeping with 14-year-old neighbour
A SARINA mother-of-three has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years behind bars after an affair with her teenage neighbour, who was half her age.
The woman, who was 28 at the time, and who for legal reasons cannot be named, was accused of seven charges including maintaining a relationship with a child under the age of 16, indecent treatment of a child under 16 and possessing child exploitation material.
The Mackay District Court heard Monday that she actively sought out a sexual relationship with her young neighbour.
Judge Brian Devereaux said the woman began the affair because "you had needs that weren't being met".
The relationship, which spanned from late April 2017 until early June 2017, began while the 14-year-old boy was at the woman's house watching movies.
Ms Kelso said during that period the woman admitted she was in love with the boy and told his mother, and neighbours they had "f----d".
Over the space of that month the pair had sex more than 20 times, with the woman even paying $50 to "put out" for an encounter because the boy wanted money. There was another similar occasion but the boy did not follow through.
"The boy was quite mature and advanced for his 14 years," Ms Kelso told the court.
The woman had a history of ice and cannabis use, the court was told. The boy had also admitted to police he had smoked cannabis.
The boy's sister became embroiled in the affair when she and her mother found the pair in a state of undress in the woman's home.
Judge Devereaux said that while the woman's guilty plea was not early, and it looked like she may go to trial, she had had the good grace to plead guilty, saving the teenager and his sister from providing statements to the court, in a "very significant breach of trust of neighbours".
He said that due to the dramatic difference in age, "there was no doubt it was a relationship of sexual exploitation".
Since the affair the boy had become introverted and didn't like attending school, Judge Devereaux said.
"(It) had a dramatic effect on him, and his sister, and therefore his mother in the community they live in", he said. "The victim feels a sense of responsibility and blame."
Judge Devereaux admitted that sentencing was different because the roles were typically reversed, with a female complainant and a male defendant.
He continued by stating that there was a big difference between being penetrated in a sexual encounter, and penetrating.
The relationship broke up after "the boy became bored with it".
Police were first notified in August last year when the woman's ex-partner discovered the relationship.
He then reported it to police.
During the arrest police also found stories, detailing sexual fantasies involving children walking in on adults having sex.
The woman claimed "it was a power thing with me and (the partner)".
The woman's defence barrister Stephen Byrne, of R. A. Solicitors in Brisbane said the woman had used her time in custody fruitfully, undertaking Bible studies, a carer's course and a resilience course and had worked in the sewing workshop in Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre.
"Since her release on bail she's continued to move her life forward, in relation to work," he said.
Mr Byrne said in terms of personal betterment, the woman had attended AODS meetings, parenting classes, counselling with a psychologist through AODS and attended domestic violence survivors support sessions.
When the woman was taken into custody last August, her three children, all under six, had been taken off her, Mr Byrne said. They were now in foster care.
Since her arrest she had come to Mackay "five or six times" to visit her children.
The Department of Child Protective Services had indicated to the woman they're hopeful of placing the children with their maternal grandmother, who will eventually supervise the woman's time with her children, Mr Byrne said.
The woman was sentenced to a total of four-and-a-half years prison, and will be eligible for parole on July 30 next year, after having already served four months.