A WOMAN wept as she was sent to prison for grooming a schoolboy of 12 for sex.
The 35-year-old was jailed for five-and-a-half years yesterday following a nine-day trial over sexual assault and sexual activity with the boy.
Jodie Delray, now on the sex offenders’ register for life, cried in the dock as she was locked up.
The boy was aged just 12-13 at the time he was sexually abused, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Delray, of Lyng, near East Dereham, Norfolk, had denied all the nine counts of sexual assault and sexual activity.
William Carter, prosecuting, said there was an “element of grooming” to Delray’s behaviour and an aggravating feature was that she was much older.
Michael Clare, who did not represent Delray at her trial but appeared for her defence yesterday, said she was of “very low risk of re-offending”.
Mr Clare said he was concerned about the impression she gave to the court at her trial as she had been advised not to show her emotions.
He said: “She feels she has been let down in the way she presented herself.”
Mr Clare added she was a “vulnerable individual” with a number of health problems and suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome.
He said: “Custody for her will be all the more punishment for her. She is someone who will find it extremely difficult.”
Judge Anthony Bate told Delray he accepted she was a woman of previous good character.
The judge said he had received testimonials from her friends and family, who spoke of her many qualities.
But Judge Bate warned Delray: “I can do nothing in this case other than my public duty.”
He said she had started by sexually assaulting the boy and that was a “precursor” to them going on to having full sex.
“Full sex began to occur initiated by you,” said Judge Bate.
“These clandestine sex trysts continued for some time.”
He said the Appeal Court had stressed about how a teenage boy is often “ill-equipped” to cope with a premature sexual experience.
Judge Bate also made Delray subject to a sexual harm prevention order.
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