at­tacks ‘con­trib­uted’ to teenager try­ing to take her own life, court told

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By TI­MOTHY GAL­LAGHER

A WOMAN who sex­u­ally abused a 13-year-old girl has been jailed.

Mar­tine Brayshaw was 22 when she started to be­friend the ‘vul­ner­a­ble’ teenager, who had a tor­rid home life, a court heard.

What be­gan as a friend­ship soon turned into sex­ual abuse over a two month pe­riod, though, and was only un­cov­ered when the school­girl, who can­not be named, was con­fronted by her mother.

Manch­ester Min­shull Street Crown Court heard the girl’s re­la­tion­ship with Brayshaw ‘con­trib­uted’ to the young­ster try­ing to take her own life. Af­ter be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal, she told po­lice of the abuse.

Later, Brayshaw of Cold­hurst, Old­ham, turned up at the girl’s home, threw a burn­ing rag at the prop­erty and screamed abuse at the girl and her mother, threat­en­ing to ‘get peo­ple round.’

Brayshaw, now 24, was jailed for 30 months af­ter she was con­victed of seven charges of sex­ual ac­tiv­ity with a child and two of­fences of wit­ness in­tim­i­da­tion.

She was made sub­ject to a Sex­ual Harm Pre­ven­tion Or­der and will have to sign the Sex Of­fender Regis­ter for 10 years. She was also banned from con­tact­ing the vic­tim for five years un­der the terms of a re­strain­ing or­der.

An­drew Macin­tosh, pros­e­cut­ing, said: “The girl was be­friended by this de­fen­dant while she was go­ing through a dif­fi­cult time with her mother. That friend­ship be­came sex­ual. The com­plainant was chal­lenged by her mother about what had oc­curred that re­sulted in an ar­gu­ment. As a re­sult the com­plainant tried to com­mit suicide and was taken to hos­pi­tal where she was de­tained for a brief pe­riod be­fore be­ing dis­charged.

“At that time she de­nied to her mother that there was any re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two but she sub­se­quently stated to the po­lice there had been some kiss­ing. She then ad­mit­ted that mat­ters had gone much fur­ther. Fol­low­ing that dis­clo­sure she was in­ter­viewed and dis­closed to of­fi­cers what the na­ture of the re­la­tion­ship was.”

Mr Macin­tosh said that, a few months later, Brayshaw went on a ram­page at the girl’s home.

He said: “This lady is seen out­side of the com­plainant’s house on po­lice bail – she was seen out­side the house to throw a burn­ing rag onto the fence. When the com­plainant and her mother came out of the prop­erty she was abu­sive to­wards them be­fore mak­ing off. She de­nied in in­ter­view any­thing of a sex­ual na­ture had hap­pened and de­nied she had been the per­son seen to throw the rag onto the fence, these are de­nials she main­tained through­out the trial.”

Craig MacGre­gor, de­fend­ing, said his client was on the autistic spec­trum and added: “Mar­tine has been beat up, she had left her job of two years, she had also been at­tacked on the street and kicked in the face – but no fur­ther ac­tion was taken be­cause it wasn’t in the in­ter­ests of jus­tice.

“Mar­tine has felt ag­grieved that no one was lis­ten­ing to her side. She presents with com­plex de­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­der, a lack of aware­ness, a lack of un­der­stand­ing, mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of other peo­ple’s in­ten­tions.’’

But sen­tenc­ing, Judge Mark Sav­ill told Brayshaw she was aware the girl was a child ‘with dif­fi­cul­ties per­haps a bit more than just teenage anger with a par­ent.’

He said: “I don’t take the view that there was groom­ing be­hav­iour. To some ex­tent there was in this re­la­tion­ship you found your­self in, you be­ing an adult she be­ing a child look­ing to find a friend in the storm of her teenage years. ‘How­ever you had your dif­fi­cul­ties. It seems to me you are not some­body who was en­gag­ing in groom­ing be­hav­iour, you didn’t specif­i­cally tar­get this in­di­vid­ual. Although there is a 10-year or so gap in your ages un­der­stand­ing and ma­tu­rity is sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced.

“The harm in this case is on­go­ing, ef­fects on the vic­tim have been se­vere. You are not solely re­spon­si­ble for the at­tempt on her own life but no doubt con­trib­uted to that.”

I don’t take the view there was groom­ing be­hav­iour

Judge Mark Sav­ill

Mar­tine Brayshaw was jailed for 30 months

Mar­tine Brayshaw was jailed for 30 months

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