Published: 12:40, 04 January 2018 |
Updated: 12:41, 04 January 2018
A convicted sex offender has narrowly avoided going straight to jail after being found living with a teenage girl.
Accountant Lana Laws was placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years in February 2011 for downloading illegal images of children.
Canterbury Crown Court heard she was then called Ben Laws but "now identifies herself as a woman".
But under the restrictions she was prohibited from living in the same house as someone under the age of 18.
Prosecutor Steve Mould said police went to Laws' home in February last year and discovered he was in a relationship with the 17-year-old girl.
Laws, 34, of York Street, Ramsgate, admitted breaching the Sexual Offences Act by failing to notify police she was in a relationship.
The prosecutor said it was the fourth breach of the restrictions but Laws claimed it was out of “forgetfulness rather than malice”.
The court heard how the two met through the internet when the teenager initially claimed to be 18 years old.
John Barker, defending, said Laws had "a terribly abusive and appalling childhood" but had established her accountancy business.
Judge James O’Mahony told Laws: "You do not have a charmed life to avoid the consequences of your deliberate conduct.
"But this is not predatory sexual offending and this relationship has not been perceived as being abusive and no harm, in that sense, was involved."
Laws was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.