A mother-of-three accused of grooming a 15-year-old boy into a sexual relationship has been spared jail.
Nicole Lines, from Ramsgate, England, exploited the teenager over a number of months, supplying him alcohol and selling him cannabis.
Teen Believed He Hit the 'Jackpot,' was 'In Love' with Lines
At the time, the child believed he had "hit the jackpot" and was "in love" with the 28-year-old. But after reporting Lines to the police he revealed he had felt "exploited" by her actions.
Canterbury Crown Court was told that while feeling upset, Lines had invited the boy to the family home to console her, where they would soon become intimate.
She gave him cannabis and alcohol and started a sexual relationship with him. Lines was arrested after the boy alerted Kent police of Lines' activities himself.
Lines Admitted to Being Attracted to the Boy
Following her arrest, Lines, of Cecelia Road, admitted the sexual relationship to detectives, explaining she "was attracted" to the boy" and "knew what she was doing was wrong but he kept coming to her." She denied supplying drugs other than sharing cannabis with him, and admitted they had exchanged Christmas and Valentines cards, the court heard.
The victim became emotionally unstable during the course of Lines' grooming, prosecutors said. "The relationship was very emotional and volatile, he became suicidal or at least expressed suicidal thoughts, and thoughts of self-harm," Jai Patel explained.
Judge Rupert Lowe branded Lines' actions "serious sexual offences", but was convinced she was not predatorial and became attracted to the boy as a "one-off" incident. "It is clear from the messages I've seen, you and he regarded yourselves as being in a loving relationship which you both valued and his mother was going along with it," he told Lines.
The court heard the boy felt "he had hit the jackpot, he was in love, he was getting plenty of sex, he was being provided with drugs and alcohol and he thought everything was great." But in retrospect he feels "exploited and has suffered significant upset and stress as a result of that ill-advised relationship", the court heard.
"He blames you, and rightly so, because you were an adult," Judge Lowe added.
Lines' Prison Sentence Suspended, Sentenced to Probation
Lines admitted two counts of sexual activity with a child, three counts of possessing indecent images of a child, alongside supply and possession of a Class B drug. The indecent images were of the boy she groomed. She was handed two years in prison on Friday, but the sentence was suspended for two years.
The court heard that Lines grew up in care following a tumultuous childhood and later suffered serious medical and mental health complications. She used cannabis, alcohol and MDMA to self-medicate, and was a "very vulnerable person herself," the defence said.
Lines, who was supported by a friend in the public gallery, was ordered to complete 60 probation days and 10 years of notification requirements.