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Deal mother's betrayal by former friend Karen Ackland who seduced son of 14 three decades her junior

By KentOnline reporter

A mother has spoken of her heartache at the betrayal by a party-loving former friend who seduced her 14-year-old son in their home.

The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sickened to discover Karen Ackland, 44, had taken advantage of her son - who is 30 years her junior.

Divorced mother-of-two Ackland was at an event celebrating the youngster's football achievements when she first set eyes on him.

A court heard Karen Ackland was discovered when the boy’s older brother heard noises coming from a bedroom. Picture: Mike Gunnill

After hours of drinking, the boy's mother offered Ackland a bed at their home.

Ackland pounced on the boy as he got ready for bed and used him as her "sex object" - only to be rumbled when his older brother heard her making sex noises.

She was sentenced to a nine-month jail sentence - suspended for a year - at Canterbury Crown Court.

Judge Simon James said Ackland had "immediately regretted" her behaviour and although committed in drink he said "that does not afford you any real excuses".

"She was always a party animal and when she had too many drinks she completely loses all self-respect and embarrasses herself..." - victim's mother

He added the law was to protect teenagers from doing things they might later regret.

The youngster's distraught mother called for harsher sentences for female sex offenders.

She said: "I never expected her to do this, you trust your friends. And he was just a child.

"She was always a party animal and when she had too many drinks she completely loses all self-respect and embarrasses herself.

"She used to always say 'I'm a nightmare when I've had a drink' and she'd always have a few men on the go.

"But I was a great friend to her and I stood by her. I never expected this.

"When my son was interviewed I was welling up. He looked exhausted, he was emotionally drained. It was absolutely harrowing to hear.

"She was very domineering and my son said as soon as it happened that he'd wished he'd never done it."

Karen Ackland at Canterbury Crown Court in July, where she admitted three charges of sexual activity with a child. Picture: Mike Gunnill

She added: "I think women should have as long sentences as men. It's exactly the same sexual act.

"It shouldn't be any different for men and women and if she had been a man I think she would have had a jail sentence."

Ackland first set eyes on her young victim at the football event on April 27 last year.

The group went back to Ackland's house where Andrew Espley, prosecuting, said "everyone did three shots of Vodka".

Ackland then backed the helpless boy into a corner in the kitchen and they kissed.

Ex-sailor Ackland was heard demanding the youngster spit in her mouth during their sex session in April 2013.

She was also heard to say "I can't believe I'm doing this with a 15-year-old!"

But the court heard the boy, who is now 16, was just 14 at the time.

Deal woman Karen Ackland seduced a schoolboy 30 years her junior after a drunken night out. Picture: Mike Gunnill

Ackland, of Cavell Square, changed her plea to guilty just before the victim was due to give evidence - admitting three charges of sexual activity with a child.

After the boy's brother burst into the room, Ackland ran out the family's home and kept what she had done from the his mother.

The boy later told a friend: "I went to get into my trackies and she stripped naked in front of me.

"Yeah we had sex but it was really weird. She kept asking me to spit on her and all these weird things."

Mr Espley said within days, the incident was the talk of the school and teachers were forced to report the incident to police.

Ackland told a friend: "He tried to kiss me. I'm a 40 year old woman what am I supposed to do?"

The case was heard at Canterbury Court

Domini Webber, defending, said the Tesco shelf-stacker grew up in Germany as the daughter of a father who was in the military.

She married in 1993 but is now divorced with two teenage children.

Mr Webber said: "She accepts that this was extremely irresponsible behaviour
and she admits to being a binge drinker."

Ackland was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register and pay £500 in court costs.

Director of children's charity Kidscape Claude Knights yesterday said the sentence "sends out a very weak message".

She said: "The suspended nine month custodial sentence does not reflect the severity of this crime and sends out a very weak message.

"Despite many advances in our understanding the true extent of female sexual abuse remains a hidden picture. One has to ask how this crime would have been perceived had it been committed by a man.

"The response to such despicable crimes against children should be very robust regardless of the gender of the perpetrator."

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