Update: Dent was sentenced to three years and was forced to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order

August 2017

Woman, 44, had sex with 15-year-old schoolboy

A 44-year-old woman has admitted posing as a teenage girl on a fake Facebook account to form a sexual relationship with teenage schoolboy.

Marie Dent knocked nearly 30 years off her real age and used a false name and a photo of a child to groom the boy online.

She met him twice and had sex – all the time telling the boy she was still 15.

Dent also kept footage of the lad involved in a sexual act stored on her mobile phone.

On Tuesday, Dent admitted three charges of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 and one of possession of an indecent image of a child.

Prosecutor Jane Oldfield told Chelmsford Crown Court: “She entered into communication with the young man, a 15-year-old boy, and throughout she maintained she was 15.

“They met up on two occasions and by that time the communications had become intimate.

“By the time they met they had been talking of love.”

At an earlier hearing, magistrates heard how Dent met up with the boy on two separate occasions in November and December last year.

She admitted kissing and cuddling on their first meeting and on the second she went to his house, still pretending to be 15, and engaged in sexual activity in his bedroom.

The boy, who said he was not coerced, did not initiate any activity but said he was a willing participant.

Magistrates heard that Dent has initially set up the bogus Facebook account to support a family member who believed their partner had been unfaithful.

Ashley Petchey, prosecuting, said: “The account lay dormant for several months but then contact began to be made with a number of people including the victim in this case.

“There was messaging between the two. The defendant had lied about her age.”

Dent, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, was reported to police after the victim’s mother found them together at his home.

Dent, wearing a white blouse and black trousers, spoke only to confirm her name and plead guilty at the hearing on Tuesday.

Patricia Lynch QC said: “It matters not who initiated the activity. She was the adult, he was the child.”

Sentencing was adjourned until September 26 for a psychological assessment.

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