It is not often that sex offenders are female, but when they do, it tends to get a disproportionate amount of attention.
So it was that Gail Wright, a 44 year old from Shireoaks in Nottinghamshire , found herself in the papers when she was jailed for two years on 19th July 2016.
As is often the case (although less so with the BBC in fairness), the headline is slightly misleading. It implies that Ms Wright got 2 years for sending naked pictures of herself to some teenage boys.
In fact, as the story makes clear, Ms Wright went considerably further than that.
She did send sexually explicit photos and videos of herself to five boys, some of these also contained sexually explicit comments.
More significantly though, she had a ‘sexual relationship’ with one of them whilst he was 15. It was this that would have lead to the prison sentence.
We don’t know much about the facts in any detail. The offences were :
- 1 x sexual activity with a child
- 2 x possessing an indecent image of a child
- 4 x causing a child to look at images of sexual activity (s12 Sexual Offences Act 2003)
It should be noted that, notwithstanding that Ms Wright bought gifts for the boys, she was not charged with any offence of grooming.
There are Guidelines for these offences. Starting with the sexual activity charge (the most serious), it’s presumably Culpability A. The Harm Category will depend on the nature of the sexual activity (p47).
On the face of the sentence, it would have been non-penetrative activity, but it is hard to say.
The guidelines for the ‘selfies’ offences are at page 57. With this, without any idea of exactly what the images consisted of, it is hard to comment.
The headline is a bit misleading here. On the face of it, Ms Wright has committed serious offences and could consider herself somewhat lucky in only receiving a sentence of 2 years.
Hopefully there will be more details to follow, in which case we will look at this again.