Hartlepool woman is cleared of making sexual advances to schoolboy

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

A woman has been cleared of claims that she made sexual advances towards a boy.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court took less than an hour to find Samantha Williamson, from Hartlepool, not guilty of all charges.

Miss Williamson, 43, cried with relief as the jury returned its unanimous verdicts.

A schoolboy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claimed she sat on his knee while drunk, kissed him and exposed her right breast.

He alleged she tried to touch his crotch over his clothing and attempted to get him to touch her groin.

But Miss Williamson, of Catcote Road, Hartlepool, said she was not drunk and none of the claims were true. She told the jury: “I would never dream of touching a boy.”

The jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts for charges of sexual activity with a child, two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and one of attempted sexual activity.

In his summing up, Judge Stephen Ashurst told the jury: “Ultimately, it’s for you to decide what happened in this case.

“At the heart of each allegation is whether the events happened at all.”

Judge Ashurst expressed concern after the case at the length of time it had taken for it to reach court.

Judge Ashurst said: “It’s a matter of regret from every person’s point of view in this case that delays have been allowed to intrude.

“I very much hope that despite the volume of work and resource issues that there are that this sort of situation doesn’t repeat itself.”

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “We accept there were delays with this case. Many of these delays were beyond officers’ control, such as waiting to receive reports from third party agencies.

“All all early decision materials were provided within three weeks of the incident occurring. “Further requests for additional materials prolonged a charging decision. A charging decision was received by police in October 2016 and a summons was then issued.”