Mum cries as she cleared by court for sex with 14-year-old
A mum wept uncontrollably in court on Thursday after she was cleared of knowingly having sex with a 14-year-old boy.
The court heard the boy and a 14-year-old friend had been playing football near her home before the mum-of-three invited them in for a drink of water.
Jurors were told she had taken one of the boys upstairs to her bedroom where they had sex.
"I'm sure he told me he was 16 and I felt he looked much older. It didn't occur to me that he might be underage," Ms Vincent told the court on Wednesday.
"He definitely didn't tell me he was in year nine, or that he was only 14, before we had sex."
Her defence told the jury: "Can you be sure he told her he was 14 before they had sex or had he lied about his age?
"You'd be hard-pressed to find a young teenager who doesn't wish they were a few years older."
After just one hour and four minutes a jury of eight men and four women today found her not guilty of knowingly having sex with an underage boy.
The mum burst into tears, before she was discharged by Judge Ian Lawrie QC.
She later posted a picture of herself celebrating the verdict outside court.
"Not guilty. Thank you everyone that stood behind me and believed me; it's been the hardest two years of my life," she wrote in a Facebook post.
"Welcome 2021 for me and my kids."
FALSE DATE OF BIRTH
The verdict came after the court heard the boy had given a false date of birth on his Facebook profile.
A screenshot was showed of the teen's profile, with his date of birth set as 2000 - making him appear older than his actual age.
The teen was recalled to the witness box and explained he had entered the false date of birth after being given a new phone for his 13th birthday.
He said he received a phone a week ahead of his birthday.
"I put in a false date of birth because you have to be 13 to access Facebook. This was because I wanted to access games and other things straight away," he said.
"I chose 2000 because 2001 or 2003 was 'disorganised'. I forgot to change it when I got older.
"I have very little usage of Facebook as I mainly use it for games.
"I could have waited six days before I became 13 to register with Facebook, but I chose to be 16 almost 17, for Facebook purposes."
Pressed about what age he told Ms Vincent he was he said: "I definitely did not tell her I was 16 going on 17."
Defence barrister Catherine Flint, in her final speech to the jury before they retired to consider their verdict, said: "You have heard a lot about Ms Vincent's behaviour on that Sunday.
"You may have formed a view that her behaviour was morally questionable.
"However your role is not to make moral judgments, but to decide if she broke the law."
In his summing up to the jury before they retired to consider their verdict, Judge Lawrie told them: "The issues in the case are straightforward. It comes down to the question of the boy's age.
"The victim was a young virgin and she was a lot older than him, being more than twice his age. Ms Vincent took the lead sexually.
"Ms Vincent stated that the boy was flirting with her before he was taken upstairs to her bedroom. This might seem to be stretching credibility, as he was naive about sexual matters.
"Ms Vincent had never met the boy before, but had seen friends of his who were a lot older than him. She said she believed he was much older."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Mum, 32, cleared of sex with boy, 14