Mum left kids with pae­dophile part­ner

Woman jailed for ex­pos­ing chil­dren to of­fender

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Court re­porter

A Wishaw mother has been jailed for 18 months for ne­glect­ing her chil­dren by al­low­ing a con­victed pae­dophile to live with them.

The 25- year- old, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, pleaded guilty to ne­glect­ing her two chil­dren, aged 6 and 3, by ex­pos­ing them to sex fiend James Smith as well as caus­ing them psy­cho­log­i­cal dam­age.

The woman also ad­mit­ted fail­ing to dis­close to the police, North La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s so­cial work depart­ment and even her own fam­ily mem­bers that Smith was liv­ing at her Wishaw home.

Smith was jailed for three years in March for us­ing dif­fer­ent iden­ti­ties, in­clud­ing the names Steven Smith and Richard No­ble, as a front to ac­cess chil­dren, whom he later sub­jected to sex­ual as­saults.

In May he was given a fur­ther 20 months for breach­ing his bail conditions af­ter it emerged he had continued see­ing the Wishaw mother, whose daugh­ter was one of his vic­tims, while he was on bail be­fore his trial.

The de­cep­tion only came to light when the woman’s sis­ter reported her to police af­ter dis­cov­er­ing she was liv­ing with the con­victed sex of­fender.

The ac­cused told her sis­ter Smith was ap­pear­ing in court be­cause of a breach of bail and she was a wit­ness in the case.

Her hor­ri­fied sis­ter dis­cov­ered Smith was a con­victed pae­dophile af­ter read­ing details of his case in a news­pa­per and police were con­tacted.

When the mother ap­peared in court last month fis­cal de­pute Lauren Robert told the court that the woman met Smith on dat­ing web­site Plenty of Fish. Smith moved in with her and the chil­dren shortly af­ter­wards.

At that time the woman and her sis­ter took turns to watch their chil­dren on a Fri­day and Satur­day night.

Once Smith had been charged the ar­range­ment continued as the sis­ter be­lieved Smith would not be in the house.

Smith’s part­ner then told her sis­ter that the case against him had been dropped so the sis­ter continued to take her chil­dren to the Wishaw ad­dress. Smith even spent Christ­mas and New Year with the fam­ily.

How­ever, when the sis­ter be­came aware that Smith was at­tend­ing court in re­la­tion to a trial, she con­fronted the ac­cused, who told her it was sim­ply a breach of bail charge.

The ac­cused asked her sis­ter to col­lect her daugh­ter one day be­cause she was at court as a wit­ness.

When the sis­ter went to wait out­side the school both Smith and the ac­cused were in his car with her son in the back.

It was not un­til her sis­ter saw the re­sult of the court case in the lo­cal press that she be­came aware of what had hap­pened.

The hor­ri­fied woman asked her chil­dren if Smith had done any­thing to them when they stayed overnight but they said no.

She con­fronted the ac­cused, who apol­o­gised for de­ceiv­ing her and other fam­ily mem­bers. She said she loved Smith.

She also told police of­fi­cers she had al­lowed him un­su­per­vised con­tact with her daugh­ter and son.

When police called at Smith’s home he claimed that he lived alone but when of­fi­cers searched the prop­erty they dis­cov­ered two chil­dren’s beds in one of the rooms.

The woman was sen­tenced to 18 months be­hind bars at Hamil­ton Sher­iff Court last Fri­day. Her sen­tence was dis­counted from two years be­cause of her guilty plea.

Ver­dict Hamil­ton Sher­iff Court

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