April 2019

Scots care worker’s life in tatters after sex acts with vulnerable teen exposed

A care worker who struck up a sexual relationship with a vulnerable teenage boy has been spared jail.

Kayleigh Martin, 26, started the inappropriate affair with the 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after being handed his case.

The pair met at a residential centre which offers support for troubled teenagers and young adults.

They exchanged a series of explicit messages before carrying out sex acts in the Lanarkshire-based unit which offers one-to-one help for youngsters.

Horrified bosses called in police when the affair came to light and she was arrested in July last year.

Martin, of Hamilton , Lanarkshire, appeared at Lanark Sheriff Court and went on trial where she denied all wrongdoing.

But she was convicted of engaging in sexual activity with the teenager while in a position of trust and sending a sexual communication.

She was placed under supervision for two years and ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work by Sheriff Nikola Stewart who blasted her “appalling behaviour”.

Disgraced Martin, who now works in retail, was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for two years and banned from contacting the teen.

Archie Hill, defending, said: “There is simply no prospect of her going into that field of work ever again.

“The lady respects the finding of the court, but maintains her position and I would have been shocked if she had changed that because she is vehement in her denial of this offence.

“But the galling thing about this case is that she has simply put her head in the sand and this has been a horrific experience for her.

“She only had some experience of the job and there were some texts that were inappropriate but she was an inexperienced worker in that environment.

“He was used to the system but she simply wasn’t, it was unusual how much contact she was having with this young man.

“She always wanted to work in that field but that will not happen and this case will impact her life in every way imaginable.”

Martin is a registered residential child care worker with the Scottish Social Services Council.

A source said: “She had a very promising career ahead of her but she has absolutely ruined that for herself.

“She should never have allowed herself to get involved in a situation like this and now she has to accept the consequences.

“Her life has been changed completely and she is lucky she wasn’t sent to prison for a massive breach of trust from someone who should have known better.”

Sheriff Stewart said: “This was a serious relationship regardless of what she thought it was.

“He is a young man who has an attractive, caring young woman who was giving him a highly unusual amount of attention and the warning bells should have been ringing much earlier.

“I don’t think she is predatory but is someone who is naive and foolish.

“I have no doubt that this will have undoubted serious repercussions on his life and frankly this is a dreadful thing she has done.

“The benefit of her education has now been entirely wasted.

“I regard this appalling behaviour very seriously and can’t say enough how worried I am about the repercussions of this on this young man’s life.”

Inspire Scotland, who ran the unit where Martin was based, have been approached for comment.