Woman jailed after grooming vulnerable boy for sex

Woman jailed after grooming vulnerable boy for sex
Laura Jane Bardsley, 27, sent love letters to child before she was caught out

A woman has been jailed for six years over a series of sex offences involving a vulnerable underage boy.

Laura Jane Bardsley, from Stockport, started talking with the child online during June last year and later sent him love letters.

Police said the 27-year-old knew the boy was vulnerable before she engaged in conversation with him.

She pretended to be a positive influence on him while a coronavirus lockdown was in place, but was secretly grooming him, according to Greater Manchester Police.

Her messages to him later became sexual and she invited him into the family home she shared with her adult partner and two young children. She even took him to a hotel for a night.

She began a sexual relationship with him in secret and was not found out until the boy’s mother found her love letters and told police.

Bardsley admitted four charges of sexual activity with a child, harassment of a child and using an illicit mobile phone in prison. She was sentenced to six years in prison at Minshull Crown Court in Manchester on Wednesday.

She also received a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be required to sign the Sex Offender Register for life.

Detective Mike Allen, of Greater Manchester Police’s Complex Safeguarding Team, said: “Child sexual exploitation takes many forms.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the victim and his family for having the bravery to report this matter and having the willingness to give evidence even if it had gone to a trial and being prepared to face the offender.

“I hope this result has repaid their confidence placed in the authorities and provides them with some justice when coming to terms with these horrible crimes.”

Detective Allen encouraged young people who were being innappropriately contacted by an adult online or otherwise, or anyone who suspects innappropriate contact, to report it to police or an appropriate adult such as a parent, carer or teacher.

“Ensuring that victims are safeguarded and offenders face justice are our highest priorities,” he said.

“I hope today’s sentence serves as a warning to offenders, deterring them from communicating with a child to satisfy their sexual desires.”