independent

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Drunk housewife (31) who performed sex act on boy (13) avoids prison sentence

A HOUSEWIFE who performed a sex act on a 13-year-old schoolboy after drinking enough alcohol "to knock out a bull elephant" has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Amanda Wheeler, who also indecently touched two other boys while drunk at a party, walked free from court after a judge heard her victims had fully recovered from what could have been "extraordinarily traumatic experiences".

Wheeler, 31, was convicted of one count of sexual assault and four counts of sexual activity with a child following a trial at Worcester Crown Court, England in October.

The defendant, who denied the charges despite significant gaps in her memory of the party, committed the offences in 2011.

Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Patrick Thomas QC criticised Wheeler, formerly of Rainbow Hill, Worcester, for maintaining her innocence during her trial.

The judge, who imposed a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years, told Wheeler: "The evidence established very clearly that on that night you got paralytically drunk and that your behaviour with some children passed beyond the flirtatious to the point where you touched them indecently.

"You fought the case and you should frankly be ashamed of yourself for refusing to accept that your memory of the matter was such that you really couldn't dispute what the boys consistently said.

"The jury's verdict was founded on good, solid, appropriate evidence.

"I am satisfied that this behaviour arose not out of paedophilia, although these were paedophile acts, but out of drunkenness and foolishness, and a real element of childishness in you. You were grossly disinhibited by the amount of alcohol you had taken."

The judge said he regarded the offences as "one-off offending" and did not consider Wheeler to be dangerous.

But Wheeler was told the sexual activity was aggravated by the continuous nature of the offending on the night in question, the age of the boys involved, and the fact it had been seen by young witnesses.

Explaining his decision to suspend Wheeler's sentence, Judge Thomas said victim impact statements had been a major consideration.

"They are not to be read out in public but it is right to say that they do show that the major impact on the children came from all of this coming to light and the embarrassment and difficulties that caused at the time," the judge said.

"Each of them makes it pretty plain that so far as he is concerned ... he was over whatever trauma was involved in the offending.

"It is because of, and only because of, the victim impact statements, and the impact of the sentence to be served upon your children, that I think it's appropriate to step back."

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