Mum cleared of having sex with boy, 14, who she 'thought was over 16'

A mum cleared of knowingly having sex with a 14-year-old boy has described fears that some people will always see her as a sex offender.

Teah Vincent, 32, admitted initiating sex with the teenager at her home in Woolaston, Gloucester, back in October 2018, but told jurors at the city’s crown court she believed he was 16 or over.

Speaking after her trial, she said: ‘I was cleared by the court but there will always be people who see me as a sex offender.

‘I can see why people think what happened was wrong, but I did not break any law.’

The court heard that the boy and a friend, also 14, had been playing football near Ms Vincent’s home and she invited them in for a soft drink on October 21, 2018.

Jurors were then told she took one of the boys upstairs to her bedroom, but she insisted she thought he was at least 16 and was shocked to find out he was two years younger.

She burst into tears when the jury took just over an hour to find her not guilty of knowingly having sex with an underage boy at the end of a four-day trial.

It came after late evidence was presented showing the boy had registered a false date of birth on his Facebook profile.

Jurors were shown a screen shot image giving the complainant’s profile and his date of birth as 2000 – making him appear much older than his actual age.

The youth was recalled to the witness box and explained that he had entered the false date of birth after being given a new phone for his 13th birthday.

He said he got the device a week beforehand, adding: ‘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.’

Pressed about how old he later told Ms Vincent he was, he said: ‘I definitely did not tell her I was 16 going on 17.’

During her evidence Ms Vincent said: ‘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. He definitely didn’t tell me he was in Year 9, or that he was only 14, before we had sex.’

Defending, Catherine Flint told jurors in her closing speech: ‘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 judgements, but to decide if she broke the law.

‘Can you be sure he told her she 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.

‘It seems that Ms Vincent had a sort of fascination with this group of boys.’

Summing up the evidence, Judge Ian Lawrie QC 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.’

Ms Vincent posted an update on Facebook after the trial, writing: ‘Not guilty. Thank you everyone that stood behind me and believed me it’s been the hardest two years of my life.’

She added: ‘Welcome 2021 for me and my kids.’

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