Mum left kids with paedophile partner
Woman jailed for exposing children to offender
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