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Last Updated: Friday, 25 April, 2003, 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK
Mother jailed for seducing boy
Northampton Crown Court
Mother Susan Stevens was jailed at Northampton Crown Court
A teaching assistant has been jailed for nine months for seducing a 13-year-old school boy.

Mother-of-three, Susan Stevens, 32, of Rushden, Northamptonshire, was sentenced on Friday after earlier pleading guilty to one charge of indecent assault on the boy.

Northampton Crown Court heard she had "groomed" the boy for sex, by bombarding him with love letters, text messages and mobile phone calls.

The court was told that Stevens used her car, and on one occasion, an absent neighbour's house, to meet the boy.

But the relationship was uncovered after the boy's parents found letters from her in his bedroom.

Judge Christopher Metcalf said he accepted she had committed the offence at a "very low period" in her life and that she had already had to deal with the consequences of her action, particularly the response of some people in her local area.

'Severe abuse'

But he told her she had been unable to control her fantasy world.

"I make it clear that the court does take, and must be seen to be taking, a really severe approach when really severe abuse takes place," said the judge.

Although the abuse continued only for a short period of time, Stevens knew that it was illegal, he added.

Stevens was ordered to register as a sex offender for seven years and was prohibited from working with children under 18 on her release.

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