March 2013

Burnley woman who had sex with schoolboy missed probation meetings


A WOMAN spared jail for sex with a schoolboy has been given a curfew after flouting the suspended term she was given.

Linda Whatton, now 40, couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed for one probation appointment and couldn’t be bothered to contact the service to find out what her instructions were, Burnley Crown Court was told.

In August 2011, she had been given eight months in prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision, after admitting sexual activity with a child.

She had also been ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, at Preston Crown Court.

The court was told she had slept with the school boy, a family friend, at her home during a two-month secret affair.

Whatton, who is pregnant and is due to give birth in May, admitted breaching the suspended sentence on Tuesday. The defendant, of Ada Street, Burnley, received a two month curfew, between 7pm and 6am, seven days a week, with a compliance activity requirement.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting for the probation service, said 49 appointments had been made with Whatton. She had kept 37 and had failed to attend 12. Four absences had not been supported by a reasonable explanation.

Laura Heywood, for Whatton, said she overslept after she had been assaulted and had gone to hospital. She fully accepted she should have contacted the probation service.

The lawyer added: “It’s the first breach of the order and she only has one conviction.” She said Whatton, who was on benefits, was due to give birth in May.

Judge Robert Altham told the defendant she had been dealt with mercifully when she had not been sent to immediate custody.

The judge said the suspended sentence order wasn’t particularly onerous. He told Whatton :” There is absolutely no excuse at all for failing to comply with this order, which is primarily designed to help you.

“This was your first offence, it is your first breach and you have made some progress. I am going to let the order stay in place.”