Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Woman from Teesside jailed after sex with 12-year-old

Angela Sullivan
Sullivan preyed on her young victim, police said

A Teesside woman who had sex almost 200 times with a 12-year-old boy has been jailed for nine years.

Angela Sullivan gave the boy a pair of trainers as a reward when he slept with her for the 100th time.

The 36-year-old mother of Cavendish Road, Middlesbrough, admitted 10 specimen charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

When police arrested her last October, they found her diary marked with stars against 191 dates when they had sex.

Cleveland Police said Sullivan had "taken complete advantage of a vulnerable young boy" and had "exploited the situation".

On sentencing, Judge John Walford described the case as "shocking".

Prosecutor Richard Bennett told Teesside Crown Court that the abuse started when Sullivan threw a belated New Year's party in January last year.

He said: "Alcohol, including spirits, was available and it seems the young children at the party were freely able to consume it.

"During the course of the party the defendant said to the boy, 'Are you daring? Are you a devil? Are you game?'

"She tried to kiss the boy but he pulled away."

Stars

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, later told police he had consumed 10 bottles of a vodka-based drink and was "really drunk."

Mr Bennett said Sullivan took the intoxicated boy up to bed, undressed him and then had sex with him.

The next day the boy - described in court as a "young-looking 12-year-old" - had a heavy hangover and Sullivan told him: "I had sex with you and if anyone finds out it's classed as rape and everything."

The court heard each time Sullivan had sexual intercourse with the boy she would place a star in her diary against the relevant date.

Mr Bennett said Sullivan had "groomed" her victim, buying him gifts to keep him happy.

He added there was also video footage of Sullivan having sex with the boy on her mobile phone.

Angela Sullivan has clearly preyed on, and taken complete advantage of a vulnerable young boy
Acting Det Insp John Wrintmore

The court heard that rumours had begun to circulate around the victim's school that he was in a relationship with Sullivan and that she was pregnant.

When the allegations were reported to the police, Sullivan denied any sexual activity had taken place.

Andrew Turton, defending, said: "What Angela Sullivan did was wrong.

"It is quite clear that she did participate in a relationship with him and that the complainant was a willing participant in what went on."

Jailing Sullivan for nine years, Judge John Walford said: "While I accept from the papers that you did not ply him with drink, the fact of the matter is that to allow a 12-year-old boy to drink, such that he did become intoxicated, is in my judgment shameful."

He said after reading reports he was "prepared to accept this was an aberration, albeit one that was long lasting, rather than anything more serious."

Sullivan, who had no previous convictions, was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Acting Det Insp John Wrintmore said: "Angela Sullivan has clearly preyed on, and taken complete advantage of a vulnerable young boy..."

He praised the "courage and strength" of character of the victim throughout the case.



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