A woman from Sefton has been jailed for more than nine years following an investigation into sexual offences against a teenage boy.
On 15 February 2019, Sarah Campbell, 39 years, of no fixed address but formerly from Bootle, was arrested and charged with engaging in regular sexual activity with the 15-year-old victim between January 2016 and January 2017.
She pleaded not guilty, and initially failed to appear part-way through the trial which took place in May 2021.
However, she was arrested on 12 May this year and brought back before the courts where she pleaded to all nine counts of sexual activity with a child.
She was remanded in custody until her court sentencing today, Tuesday 14 June, at Liverpool Crown Court where she was jailed for nine years and six months.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Pauline Newrick, a specialist lawyer in CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit, said, “Sarah Campbell abused a young boy of 15 years of age and manipulated him into having an ongoing sexual relationship with her.
“She dragged him into an adult world of drugs and sex when he was just a child. This will inevitably taint his future life and relationships.
“He was so young – she made him believe that what she was doing was right when it clearly was not. We know this is as harmful for young boys as it is for young girls despite some of the stereotypes that surround this type of offending.
“He eventually summoned up the courage to report her for the offences and has been stoic in his decision to proceed with the matter.
“These cases are always difficult and distressing. The Crown Prosecution Service welcomes the sentence Sarah Campbell has received and we would like to thank this victim. I cannot praise him highly enough for his courage in seeing this through. “
Detective Sergeant Peter Sloan said, “Thankfully, despite trying to evade justice by failing to appear in court, Campbell is now paying for her crimes.
“The atrocious abuse that Campbell carried out not only traumatises victims when it happens, but has a huge impact on their mental wellbeing which can last a lifetime. It can also cause irreparable damage to a victim’s faith and trust in adults, which can affect their ability to form trusting relationships.
“The bravery shown by the victim and his family in coming forward and reporting Campbell to police so that she could be brought to justice means she cannot cause any further harm.
“Our Child Criminal Exploitation Team have been supporting the victim and his family every step of the way, and I hope Campbell’s jailing and the additional measures taken to restrict her ability to offend again reassures the victim and any other victims that police and the courts take such offences extremely seriously.”
Det Sgt Sloan added, “If you are a young person and are being subject to inappropriate sexualised behaviour you are not comfortable with, whether it is in person or via phone messages and social media, please contact police.
“We have a specialist team committed to dealing with all forms of child exploitation, who will treat any information from you extremely seriously, and will follow up every report and any information that comes in.
“If you have any suspicions about young people who could be at risk of this type of offending, please call police straight away. We can make an assessment and take the necessary action.
“Call 999 if you suspect such an incident is in progress, or pass any other information via 101, @MerPolCC on social media, or anonymously via 0800 555 111.”
You can also visit https://www.listentomystory.co.uk/ which is a campaign to raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation, where parents, teachers, carers and young people can learn about potential warning signs.