A mum of three has been cleared of having sex with a 14-year-old boy in the knowledge of his age after she insisted she believed he was 16.
Teah Vincent, 32, admitted to initiating sex with the teenager at her home in Glouchestershire but told the court how she believed the boy was 16.
It was heard by the court how the boy and his friend, also aged 14, had been playing football near her home when she invited them over for a glass of water.
Allegedly, she took one of the boys up to her bedroom and stripped him naked before straddling him on the bed.
Vincent was found not guilty of knowingly having sex with an underage boy after a jury of eight men and four women heard the case.
After hearing the verdict, the woman posted a photo of herself celebrating outside the court. She wrote: “Not guilty. Thank you everyone that stood behind me and believed me it’s been the hardest two years off (sic) my life.”
She added: “Welcome 2021 for me and my kids.”
The trial took place at Glouchester Crown Court over the course of four days. Vincent was discharged by Judge Ian Lawrie QC.
The verdict was made following new evidence emerging in the trial yesterday. As it was revealed the boy had a false date of birth on his Facebook profile.
This information was unearthed by the defence lawyers and was considered by Judge Lawrie admissible, therefore put forward to the jury.
Christopher Smyth, who was prosecuting, told the jury that “during the hearing, many issues were raised about the victim’s Facebook profile which needed investigating”.
A screenshot was shown of the alleged victim’s Facebook profile and it showed his date as 2000, which made him appear much older than his actual age.
The youth appeared in the witness box and explained how he’d entered a false date of birth after he had been given a phone on his 13th birthday.
Reportedly, he said: “I put a false date birth because you have to be 13 to access Facebook. This was because I wanted to access games and other things straight away.
“I chose 2000 because 2001 or 2003 was ‘disorganised’. I forgot to change it when I got older. I have very little usage of Facebook as I mainly use it for games.
“I could have waited six days before I came 13 to register with Facebook, but I chose to be 16 almost 17, for Facebook purposes.”
When pressed on what age he told Ms Vincent he was, he responded: “I definitely did not tell her I was 16 going on 17.”
In Vincent’s evidence, she said: “I’m sure he told me he was 16 and I felt he looked much older. It didn’t occur to me that he might be underage.
“He definitely didn’t tell me he was in Year 9, or that he was only 14 before we had sex.”