Sarah* discovered the shocking truth about her son’s babysitter...
Sarah*, 29, East Sussex
Serving up fish fingers and chips, I called upstairs to my son, Jack*.
‘Tea’s on the table,’ I yelled. ‘Wash your hands!’
‘I’ll be down in a minute!’ he shouted from his bedroom.
‘Xbox off now please,’ I sighed. ‘Your dinner will get cold.’
Jack groaned and then stomped down the stairs.
‘Good boy,’ I smiled, as he joined his brothers and sisters at the table.
Cheekily he poked his tongue out at me. ‘Behave!’ I said, ruffling his hair, as he grinned.
The eldest of six, Jack was usually as good as gold.
He was popular at school and despite being the class clown, he loved sports and worked hard.
His dad, Tony*, and I separated when Jack was just five years old.
Jack and his sisters, aged nine and ten, would go and stay with him for the weekend once a fortnight.
My new partner, John*, 25, and I went on to have three more children, a boy and two little girls.
Jack loved being a big brother but lately, he’d seemed distant.
‘I want to live at Dad’s house,’ he announced one night.
It was like a stab to my heart but I stayed calm. ‘Ok, I’ll talk to him,’ I said. Jack was certainly outnumbered by girls at home and he was approaching puberty.
‘Maybe it would do him good?’ I convinced myself.
Tony only lived down the road, so in October 2014, he started staying at his dad’s house.
It didn’t ever feel like he was gone, as his school was opposite our house. He’d pop in every day for tea and he’d play with his little brother and sisters.
A month later, the girls went to stay with their dad and Jack.
‘Did you have a good time?’ I asked, when I picked them up.
‘Dad’s got a babysitter,’ one chirped up. ‘She sleeps in the same bedroom as Jack.’ I was stunned. The girls explained a woman called Jade had been looking after them at the house after school.
Jade had told the girls to go downstairs so that she could be in Jack’s room with him.
Grabbing my mobile, I phoned Jack straight away. ‘Is this true?’ I asked. ‘No,’ he cried. Furious, I dialled Tony’s number. ‘What on earth is going on?’ I demanded to know.
Tony explained that 21-year-old Jade Hatt was a friend who had babysat while he was at work six or seven times, but that she definitely wasn’t in Jack’s room.
I had no idea Tony wasn’t with the children the whole time.
‘I would have had them!’ I
snapped. ‘There’s no need for a babysitter.’
Tony said the girls had got it all wrong and I calmed down when he vowed she wouldn’t babysit again.
But later that evening, the girls confessed that they’d seen Jade and Jack kiss.
‘Are you sure about that?’ I cried.
They both nodded. ‘On the lips,’ they said.
In a rage, I called Tony again. ‘call the police, now!’ I cried hysterically.
Jack gave a statement to officers, and I was kept in the loop by the child abuse team.
Jade was arrested and she eventually admitted to having sex with Jack.
‘He’s 11 years old!’ I sobbed in disgust.
Jade said that Jack had told her he was 15 – despite Tony telling her he wasn’t. I felt physically sick. Gently, I tried to talk to Jack. He reluctantly admitted that Jade had forced him to have sex and he hadn’t enjoyed it.
‘It’s not your fault,’ I promised him, holding him tightly.
In October 2016, Jade Hatt appeared in Swindon Crown Court where she pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child. I was convinced she’d go to jail. I didn’t go along as I didn’t want to tell the younger children why I was going. The court heard that Jade was looking after Jack while he had the time off school for an inset day. Jade had stripped off, removed his clothes, then straddled him and had sexual intercourse with him. She told him she enjoyed it, but Jack said that he hadn’t as he knew it was wrong. Jade hadn’t just had sex with Jack - but his dad Tony had also had a sexual relationship with her too.
Tony stood up in court to defend Jade, describing her as mature and said that our little boy was ‘sex mad.’
The statement Tony wrote was read to the court. It said: ‘I know he told her he was 15. He looks older than his years.
He is sex mad. He would have been fully up for this experience and in many ways sees it as a notch on his belt and is totally unaffected by it.’
Jack is not sex mad. He is 11 years old. He is a child. There is no excuse for what she did. Jade was given a six-month jail term suspended for two years with supervision and told to register as a sex offender for seven years. She has also been banned from having unsupervised contact with young boys for two years. I collapsed and broke down in tears when the police called to tell me. It’s not justice. I have nothing to do with Jack’s dad anymore and he certainly won’t be seeing his children any time soon. We’ve moved nearly 150 miles away from the area and Jack has been unable to go back to school since it all happened. He’s now full of attitude and aggression. My boy has changed. Jade has stolen his childhood and I’ll never forgive her.
Rebuilding our lives 150 miles away