'Well, I won't be doing that again': What grandmother said after being caught having sex with a 15-year-old

A predatory grandmother who went on a string of dates with teenagers has been ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for sleeping with a 15-year old boy.

Linda Whatton, 38, of Burnley, Lancashire, has admitted unlawful sexual activity with a child and after sentencing at Preston Crown Court today declared 'Well I won't be doing that again'. The court was told she had slept with the boy, a family friend, at her home during a two-month secret affair. But the crime came to light when rumours circulated around Burnley and reached the victim's mother, who helped get her convicted.

Speaking after the sentencing, Whatton who has five children, three girls and two boys, as well as two grandchildren. said: 'I won't be doing that again -.what a mistake.
'People have been beating me, putting the windows through, calling me "paedo". 'I only just moved into a new house and I already got my windows put through.' Whatton's defence was she thought the boy was 16 but her account was rejected and she was also given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years on top of signing the register.

She bedded her teenage lover after he had been thrown out of his family home and he was said to have taken an 'active part' in their affair between August and September last year. Judge Simon Newall said: 'Men and woman should be treated the same with regard to breaches of the law. 'Whether or not I agree that women's sexuality should or shouldn't be considered the same, it's very serious and she needs to be aware of that.' He said reports showed Whatton 'age-inappropriate relationships' and liked to go out with her teenage sons' friends.

'That means she goes out with teenage lads,' added the judge. 'I'm not sentencing her for that but she needs to understand that if she's going to go out with teenage lads they have got to be 16. If it happens again she won't be let off at second time.' He added: 'Normal people that have sex of whatever type with somebody under 16 go to prison. It doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman. 'The complainant was 15 and a half at the time. He seemed to take an active part but it's still a criminal offence.'

Earlier the court heard how Whatton, 38, tended to 'go out' with the teenage friends of the elder of her five children and offered one a place to stay. The former hairdresser was arrested for unlawful sex after being given an ASBO for waging a five-year campaign against her neighbourhood. She and her 17-year old son Tommy had been nicknamed 'The Battersbys', a riotous family from the ITV soap Coronation Street, after staging late night rowdy parties and starting drunken fights in the street.

Prosecuting, Katie Jones said: 'The complainant's mother became aware of rumours circulating in the area that the complainant had had sexual intercourse with some kind of relationship. She confronted him and at first he denied it was true. 'In December he admitted that he had in fact had sex with the defendant and he told his mother everything. The defendant at the time was 37 years old. 'His mother was a witness against the defendant, stating she is the mother of the complainant and she'd had a conversation when her son moved in with the defendant when he was thrown out of the family home.

'She said at the time she'd been relieved he'd found someplace to stay. The defendant asked about when school ended, saying he could stay and his mother said he was only 15 and had to go to school or she'd be fined.' In mitigation defence counsel Paul Lawton cited her 'immaturity' mentioned in the pre-sentence report and said she'd be ostracised by the community. 'What is clear is that by committing this offence she had subjected herself to intense scrutiny.

'She's a single mum with small children and has needs beyond those of a normal 38-year-old. I seek to cite her immaturity based on the pre-sentence report.' He also said she was under 'immense stress' at the time of committing the offence due to parallel court proceedings and that it had been about sexual gratification and was a 'spontaneous decision in drink'.
Mr Lawton added: 'She's become a social pariah in her own area. She's been subjected to insults and threats.'