The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
19°C | 12°C
15°C | 7°C
18°C | 10°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Deal News Article
A Snodland foster mother has paid a heavy price for falling for the charms of a widower she met through an internet dating site.
Samantha Timberlake-Wallace was the carer of three children at the home she shared with her own child.
Then she met bearded Joe Charlton, 42, and the couple began a relationship.
But "Joe" was hiding a secret - his real name is Joseph Chatfield and he is a convicted sex offender banned from being alone with children.
Now the local authority has taken the three children back into care – and innocent Samantha has been told she has been removed from their list of approved foster carers.
"She has lost her livelihood and her calling because you lied to her about the nature of your past convictions. You actively misled her..." - Judge James O'Mahony
Chatfield, from Dover, was caught breaching his Sex Offenders' Prevention Order by a social worker who called at Samantha's home for a routine check.
He answered the door holding one of the children in his arms in total defiance of the ban, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Ms Timberlake-Wallace was showering and Chatfield was alone with the child.
That chance encounter triggered investigations by social services and police – and his true identity was revealed.
And Chatfield's barrister Paul Hogben said: "She has suffered terribly as a result of his offending and the consequences have fallen on her innocent shoulders."
A previous lover discovered Chatfield had an illegal video clip on his laptop in 2011.
He was given a nine-month suspended jail sentence, but subjected to strict rules about his online activity and any association with children.
But prosecutor Donna East said he changed his name without telling police and accessed the internet dating site.
The prosecutor said Ms Timberlake-Wallace was "completely misled" by Chatsfield's lies and deceit.
The defence barrister claimed the father found it more difficult to tell her about his past.
Chatfield has contacted social services to try and get Ms Timberlake-Wallace reinstated.
Judge James O'Mahony said: "Ms Timberlake-Wallace's (foster) children have been taken away and she has lost her position as a foster carer. The results have been devastating for both her and the children.
"She has lost her livelihood and her calling because you lied to her about the nature of your past convictions. You actively misled her."
Chatfield was jailed for a total of 21 months after he admitted five offences of breaching the SOPO and notification rules. He will remain under the order until 2021.
Click here for more news from Deal.
Click here for more news from around the county.