December 2011

‘I’m going to sleep… I’m naked’: Mother-of-seven kidnapped boy aged 11 after grooming him for sex with suggestive texts

A ‘lonely’ mother-of-seven who kidnapped an 11-year-old boy and groomed him for sex was jailed today.

Catherine Davidson, of Ashington, Northumberland, inundated the schoolboy with romantic and suggestive texts and showered him with gifts.

The 31-year-old then abducted the youngster in February and was eventually found in bed with him at one of her relative’s homes in County Durham.

The boy’s frantic mother searched the streets around their Northumberland home for 12 hours after he disappeared, Newcastle Crown Court heard

Despite repeated warnings to stay away from him, Davidson stayed in touch via text and continued to make plans to meet up until she was arrested and put behind bars on remand.

Davidson, who does not have custody of any of her children, admitted meeting a child following sexual grooming and abducting a child.

Judge John Evans said yesterday that the woman may pose ‘a high risk of serious harm to children’ and sentenced her to two-and-a-half years in jail.

The boy’s mother had warned Davidson to keep away from her boy when she found out he had been spending time at her flat.

But when his phone was checked, police found texts exchanged between him and Davidson.

One text sent after the abduction said: ‘How am I going to see you? I love you.’

Another read: ‘I’m going to sleep, I’m naked, I’m missing you.’

Prosecutor Penny Moreland told the court: ‘The sort of messages she was sending to him could, the prosecution submit, be characterised as being in affectionate and inappropriately affectionate terms, telling him she loved him, calling him “baby”, asking what time he was coming over, advising him how to handle his mother.’

Tony Cornberg, defending, said: ‘She maintains denials as to the extent of the sexual attraction.

‘Her motivation seems to be she is an emotionally lonely and detached woman, isolated.

‘Essentially she is looking for, albeit misplaced, affection.

‘It was a symptom of her isolation rather than her being depraved in any way.

‘This was a relationship of genuine, though clearly misplaced, affection.’

Davidson must sign the sex offenders register for life, has been banned from working with children for life and must abide by an indefinite sexual offences prevention order which bars her having unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.

Davidson had told the police she didn’t think it was ‘weird’ to be friends with a boy of 11 and admitted taking him out to look at trainers she was going to buy him and treating him to dinner and a haircut.

She told officers the boy had ‘started it’ because he tried to kiss her.

She asked: ‘Has he said anything? If not you’ve got nothing on me unless he opens his mouth.’

The boy did not make a statement to the police or make any complaint. 

The judge said this was a ‘very unusual case’ and that the hours the boy was missing must have been ‘agony’ for his mother.

He added: ‘Fortunately no serious harm befell that boy.

‘Although he undoubtedly at this stage is unable to recognise this, the chances are this experience will have damaged him because a relationship between an 11-year-old boy and a 31-year-old woman is highly inappropriate.’