Controversial judge Julian Hall today let a teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old boy walk free after saying he wasn't sure she harmed him.
Catherine Armstrong, 33, had promised the boy a "birthday bonk" for his 16th and had sex with him several times while he was still 15.
She initially denied the charges but then admitted two counts of sexual activity with a child and one of touching him while in a position of trust.
The teenager — who cannot be identified but has learning difficulties — asked Judge Hall at the trial to be "nice to her" when he sentenced her.
He said it took him "a stupidly long time to realise that what we were doing was wrong".
Mother-of-two Armstrong, of Hunt Road, Thame, wrote emails to her young lover after the relationship broke down, in which she declared her love.
Yesterday Judge Hall — criticised in the past for his sentencings of paedophiles — gave Armstrong a 12-month prison sentence but suspended it for two years after calling the case unique. He said: "I find it impossible to decide if he has been harmed by what you did but you shouldn't have done it."
She will sign the Sex Offenders' Register for five years.
Here is a similar story:
Judge Sees No Harm In 13-Year-Old’s Sex With Teacher
A teacher who admitted having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student was sentenced to five years probation. Pamela Diehl-Moore, 43, pleaded guilty in January to sexual assault as part of an agreement to avoid a possible three-year prison sentence.
“I really don’t see the harm that was done and certainly society doesn’t need to be worried,” Judge Bruce Gaeta said Wednesday. He ordered Diehl-Moore to continue counseling for severe depression. The boy had just completed Diehl-Moore’s seventh-grade class at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Clifton when the six-month relationship began in the summer of 1999, authorities said. Gaeta said the boy did not appear to suffer any psychological damage. “Maybe it was a way for him, once this happened, to satisfy his sexual needs. People mature at different ages,” he said.
Diehl-Moore, a divorcee with two daughters, was suspended following her 2001 arrest and has since lost her teaching license. – freerepublic
When I was a boy of 13 sleeping over at a friend’s house, I found myself in a situation where I might have had sex with an older woman. She was a hot blond college girl, probably 19, a friend of the family I was staying with. She was definitely interested and my hormones were raging, but she made a wise choice and told me that my first time should be special and with someone my own age. I honestly don’t think having sex with her that night would have damaged my brain, but I was glad in the long run. I thank her now, because my first time (16 years old) ended up being with someone my own age who I was also in love with.
Unfortunately, my first love was abused by an adult. She was raped by a man named Hank when she was 13. She had many problems including an eating disorder and depression. As a boy, I wanted to kill him, but she never told me more than his first name and the fact that he wore red. She hated red. Ultimately, as her trust was violated, she became untrustworthy. She did not get the help she needed. Instead, she’d learned selfishness and deception. She slept around, lied and broke hearts. Mine was the first of many. We got back together briefly in college. She was still messed up. It was so sad and ultimately motivated me to get a degree in Psychology because I wanted to help this friend I also loved, but I did not know how.
The circumstances of each case do matter. I’ve seen that working in group homes with kids. Some get very messed up mentally and some do not seem damaged. Still, I believe we are correct as a society in our current position.
The laws exist for a reason. The ripple effect is real.