April 2017: Dinsdale will be released later this month

October 2016

Mother, 40, sent explicit pictures and sexts to a boy

A mother who exchanged explicit pictures with a boy who was aged under 16 because she was ‘flattered’ by the attention has been jailed for two years.

Claire Dinsdale, 40, from Willington, County Durham, sent ‘sexually charged’ messages to the teenager, which she dismissed as ‘banter’ when questioned by police.

Despite being handed a court order last year that prohibited her from contacting him, she continued to exchange messages with the boy until April this year.

Dinsdale pleaded guilty to charges of abducting a child, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and making an indecent photograph of a child at Teesside Crown Court.

The prosecution said they were unable to prove any sexual activity took place between them, with the victim refusing to provide a statement.

Dinsdale and the boy met a few years ago and began to keep in contact on Facebook.

After concern from the boy’s father, Dinsdale was handed a ‘harbouring notice’ last year prohibiting her from contacting the boy. Despite this, the pair continued to exchange ‘sexually charged’ messages.

The court heard they also exchanged explicit pictures.

Police also found the boy at her property on three occasions while trying to locate him.

The inappropriate relationship carried on until April this year when Dinsdale was remanded in custody for being in breach of her bail conditions, which stated she was to stay away from her victim.

Jo Kidd, prosecuting, said: ‘The messages indicated [the boy] repeatedly asking for sexual activity.

‘Her responses indicate that it would be the order of the day. He messaged her saying “I want a sh*g when I come round” to which she replied “yes”. ‘

Judge Phillips remarked that there was ‘no discouragement whatsoever’ from the defendant.

In a victim impact statement from the boy’s father, he said that he believes his son’s behaviour has significantly deteriorated as a result of his contact with Dinsdale.

Two charges of causing a child to watch a sexual act and meeting a child following sexual grooming were dropped by the prosecution. 

Judge Phillips told Dinsdale: ‘It is not realistic to say that sexual activity was not something you thought about.

‘The most concerning feature of this case is the boy’s age. You had more than two months of sexual communication despite knowing his age.

‘You have taken advantage of his vulnerability and done so in a persistent manner.

‘The totality of the affect is that it has had a very negative effect on him and his family.’