A woman who sexually abused a 13-year-old girl has now been jailed.
Martine Brayshaw was 22 when she started to befriend the “vulnerable” teenager, who had a torrid home life.
What began as a friendship soon turned into sexual abuse over a two month period, though, and was only uncovered when the schoolgirl, who cannot be named, was confronted by her mother.
Minshull Street Crown Court heard the girl’s relationship with Brayshaw “contributed” to the youngster trying to take her own life. After being treated in hospital, she told police of the abuse.
Later, Brayshaw of Coldhurst, Oldham, turned up at the girl’s home, threw a burning rag at the property and screamed abuse at the girl and her mother, threatening to ‘get people round’.
Brayshaw, now 24, was jailed for 30 months after she was convicted of seven charges of sexual activity with a child and two offences of witness intimidation.
She was also subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will have to sign the Sex Offender Register for ten years. She was also banned from contacting the victim for five years under the terms of a restraining order.
Andrew Macintosh prosecuting said: “The girl was befriended by this defendant while she was going through a difficult time with her mother. That friendship became sexual.
“The complainant was challenged by her mother about what had occurred that resulted in an argument.
“As a result the complainant tried to commit suicide and was taken to hospital where she was detained for a brief period before being discharged.
“At that time she denied to her mother that there was any relationship between the two but she subsequently stated to the police there had been some kissing. She then admitted that matters had gone much further.
“Following that disclosure she was interviewed and disclosed to officers what the nature of the relationship was.”
Mr Macintosh said that, a few months later, Brayshaw went on a rampage at the girl’s home.
“This lady is seen outside of the complainant’s house on police bail – she was seen outside the house to throw a burning rag onto the fence.
“When the complainant and her mother came out of the property she was abusive towards them before making off.
“She denied in interview anything of a sexual nature had happened and denied she had been the person seen to throw the rag onto the fence, these are denials she maintained throughout the trial.
“So far as the victim is concerned it had a significant effect upon her – she feels betrayed by the actions of Ms Brayshaw.
“There are elements of disparity in age. It is clear that at the time the relationship started the victim was a vulnerable young girl. It was evident to this defendant she had a troubled relationship with her mother.”
In mitigation, defence lawyer Craig MacGregor said his client was on the autistic spectrum and added: “Martine has been beat up, she had left her job of two years, she had also been attacked on the street and kicked in the face – but no further action was taken because it wasn’t in the interests of justice.
“Martine has felt aggrieved that no one was listening to her side.
“She presents with complex developmental disorder, a lack of awareness, a lack of understanding misinterpretation of other people’s intentions.”
But sentencing, Judge Mark Savill told Brayshaw she was aware the girl was a child “with difficulties perhaps a bit more than just teenage anger with a parent”.
“Nevertheless, a relationship started between you.
“Whilst on bail having been interviewed by the police, two months later you attended in the middle of the night at the home address of the victim.
“You shouted, screamed abuse outside the property before making threats of violence, of getting people round to the house and setting fire to an item of clothing which you place on the fence.
“I have heard the evidence of the mother and the victim and for them knowing that they were witnesses in a very serious set of sexual allegations to have someone come to their house would have been extremely frightening.
“It must be understood any sentence passed must be a deterrent, witnesses must be protected.
“I don’t take the view that there was grooming behaviour. To some extent there was in this relationship you found yourself in, you being an adult she being a child looking to find a friend in the storm of her teenage years.
‘However you had your difficulties. It seems to me you are not somebody who was engaging in grooming behaviour, you didn’t specifically target this individual. Although there is a 10 year or so gap in your ages understanding and maturity is significantly reduced.
“The harm in this case is ongoing, effects on the victim have been severe. You are not solely responsible for the attempt on her own life but no doubt contributed to that.
“I have considered carefully the impact such a sentence will have on an individual such as yourself but the impact upon an offender in your situation perhaps doesn’t carry as much weight as first blush might assume.”
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