A MOTHER who turned a blind eye to her 13-year-old daughter’s sexual relationship with their lodger has been jailed.

The 33-year-old man was a stranger to the pair when he travelled from Lancashire to move in with the family at the mother’s invitation, York Crown Court heard.

Adrian Strong, prosecuting, said the lodger had heard about them through staying at the same hostel as the girl’s stepfather, who later lived with all three in a one-bedroom flat in south York.

At first the lodger resisted the daughter’s requests that they have sex, but later he gave in, and they slept together in the living room while her mother and stepfather slept in the bedroom, the barrister said.

“You let her down,” the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told the mother, adding although the teenager appeared to be strong-willed, she was young and vulnerable.

Judge Ashurst said: “You failed to protect her and you exposed her to sexual abuse by another adult. You behaved in a selfish and irresponsible way.”

He jailed the 43-year-old mother for nine months after she admitted child cruelty. The lodger, who admitted two charges of sexual activity with a child, was jailed for three years, put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and banned from working with children.

Neither the mother or lodger can be identified to protect the child.

The judge told the lodger: “You were the adult, you didn’t have to give way, you didn’t have to succumb to temptation. You decided as an adult to have sexual activity with her.

Elizabeth Stuart-Lofthouse, for the mother, said she was extremely remorseful for what she had done. When she became aware of the situation between her daughter and the lodger, she had tried to get him to leave by starting arguments.

She had not gone to the police or social services because she wanted to keep her relationship with her daughter. She had physical and mental health problems.

For the lodger, Andrew Semple said he “regrets and rues” the day he met the child’s stepfather.

The lodger had no previous history of sex crimes and had worked hard until losing his job last year.