Nurse, 40, accused of telling schoolboy, 14, ‘come here baby, I want you to f*** me’ after she got drunk at a VE Day street party is CLEARED of sexual assault by jury after less than two hours
- Nurse Katie Barrett, 40, was on trial accused of sexual assault on a 14-year-old
- Barrett has been found not guilty committing a non-penetrative sex act on boy
- A statement from a friend of the boy was read out in court, reading: ‘She [Barrett] took him upstairs. She tried to touch his d*** and he kept saying ‘no”
A 40-year-old nurse has been cleared of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old schoolboy who claimed she groped him at a VE Day street party.
After less than two hours of deliberation at Guildford Crown Court, the jury of six men and six women found Katie Barrett not guilty of a single charge of non-penetrative sexual activity with a child aged 14 years, after the defence counsel told them that there was no actual evidence of the sexual assault.
Barrett, 40, a registered nurse, was on trial accused of sexually assaulting the boy on 8 May 2020 after he claimed she gave him Strongbow cider and shots during the street celebration.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police that 40-year-old Barrett enticed him to her bedroom and said, ‘So do you wanna f*** me?’, when, minutes earlier, she allegedly told his father: ‘Don’t worry, I’m not trying to seduce your son.’
The jury heard character references about Katie Barrett from friends who said that the allegations about her asking the boy for sex were entirely out of character with the person they knew, and that they would trust her with their children.
As she left the court building following the verdict, the nurse, who had denied the allegations against her, declined to comment on the case or on her acquittal.
Katie Barrett, 40 (pictured), was cleared after going on trial accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy on 8 May 2020, after she plied him with alcohol during a VE Day street party
Yesterday, the jury at Guildford Crown Court were shown video interviews with the then-14-year-old boy, who said: ‘She gave me a Strongbow and maybe 10 minutes later, she got me another drink.
‘My sister asked for one but she told her to get one, instead of getting one for her like she did for me. When we were outside and started talking, she said to “come with me”.’
‘She then said sorry and said she shouldn’t have said that,’ the 14-year-old boy said.
‘[Katie] was being nice and asked me what I wanted to do when school was over and how I was coping with Covid quarantine. I had mentioned to her I was turning 15 years old that week. She also asked if I had a girlfriend and she said it was good that I didn’t have one.
‘I then had more drinks and Katie called me in and shut the door behind me. She asked me “do you wanna do it?”, and I said “what?”, as I was on my phone.
‘She said “I want you”, and I said “No. You’re drunk, and my parents are outside,” but she said “it’s fine” and she kissed me. I froze. She said let’s go upstairs and I went along with it. I didn’t know what to do, and I was a little drunk.
‘She went upstairs to her room and got on the bed and said “come on baby, I want you to f*** me” and I said “no, I can’t, there’s people knocking at the front door calling my name”. She said it was fine, and that we wouldn’t get caught.’
He said she then molested him, adding: ‘People were at the door and I said let’s go. She said okay and I went out and carried on playing football again.
‘I took a drink from the fridge as I left to try and cover-up. I felt guilty the next day and was scared to tell mum because I felt embarrassed. The other day it hit me, that I think she had it in mind the whole night. I didn’t realise until a few days later.’
Barrett, from Surrey, denies the accusations and her trial before a jury of six men and six women at Guildford Crown Court (pictured) continues
In his character reference, Barrett’s boyfriend said: ‘When Katie told me what she was accused of, I knew this was clearly out of character. I’ve known her since we were in school and she was a model pupil.
‘She is hard working and as honest as the day is long. She is a caring, loving role model as a mum. Now in a committed relationship with Katie, I have seen no evidence she is capable of these allegations.’
Summarising the defence case today, counsel Jon Anders told the jury: ‘You must question why the prosecution is having to rely on argument more than evidence.
‘My job is not to persuade anyone, my job is to comment on the evidence. When you began, you swore an oath to try the case on the evidence. There are considerable doubts in this case.
‘Dealing with the short time, space and geography in this case, bearing in mind what you have seen, is it just a coincidence that no-one sees anything else at all?
The barrister also commented on one of the boy’s friend’s evidence, taken months after the street party, where he had claimed the victim told him of oral sex on Snapchat, despite this claim being inconsistent with the complainant’s other accounts.
Mr Anders continued: ‘It is conceivable he may have misunderstood the intentions of Ms Barrett and boasted to his friends while drunk but once it’s out, it’s sort of out. Who knows what the effect of alcohol is on a young teenager?
‘The defence say it is odd that he shared this account of events with a girl he wasn’t close to, unless he had an ulterior motive – to get close to her, to impress her or just an excuse to talk to her. I dare say this is malicious, as it is teenage foolishness.’
Summarising both prosecution and defence cases, Judge Robert Fraser told the jury: ‘It’s very important you should leave behind any assumptions of stereotypes.
‘You have to decide if the alleged victim gave a truthful account. The key issue is the truthfulness and the reliability of the alleged victim’s evidence.’
The teenager told his friends about the incident and the information was subsequently passed to his parents who called the police.
A statement from a friend of the boy was read out in court and included details of a conversation over Snapchat between them. It read: ‘She [Barrett] took him upstairs and she tried to kiss him. She tried to touch his d*** and he kept saying “no”.
‘He said he couldn’t tell because it was too embarrassing. There were about 20 minutes of him saying he couldn’t.
‘He said “it’s really scary, it’s just so embarrassing”. He texted me later and said the police were getting involved and he added “I wish I didn’t tell anyone”. I could tell he was panicked.’
Another friend of the victim gave a statement to the police, saying: ‘She was drunk and apparently the woman asked him if he wanted to f*** her. I think he told me she came to him or he went to her and she started giving him oral sex and it stopped after a few seconds.
‘He sounded quite breathless [on the phone]. He was talking quite fast. At first he said something like he thought he had messed up.’
Prosecutor Leo Seelig told the court: ‘The boy says that on May 8, 2020, the defendant led him upstairs to her bedroom and asked him to have sex with her and then she touched his penis.
‘On that day there was a VE Day celebration street party. The victim was there with his sister and his father.
‘What the victim told police was that the defendant was feeling friendly towards him and his sister and she spoke to him about his GCSEs and what he wanted to do after school.
‘He told her he was soon going to turn 15-years-old. She gave him some Strongbow cider and invited him to her house to get more drinks and they sat in her garden. She was drunk and the victim’s father appeared in the garden.
‘She told him “don’t worry I’m not trying to seduce your son”, and he [the father] paid no attention and told her he didn’t think she was. The defendant asked the victim if he wanted to f*** her. She then apologised, said she shouldn’t have said that and they went around to the front of the property.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police that 40-year-old Barrett (pictured) enticed the 14-year-old boy to her bedroom having, minutes earlier, told his father: ‘Don’t worry, I’m not trying to seduce your son’
‘The defendant gave the victim shots of Limoncello and they went back inside the house. She asked the victim if he wanted ‘to do it,’ saying she ‘wanted him’. The victim said no, you’re drunk and that his parents were outside.
‘She kissed him and he, also drunk, went along with it. She took him upstairs and said “come here baby, I want you to f*** me”.
‘A neighbour entered the house and shouted up the stairs for the defendant, who said she was in the bathroom.’
In her evidence to the jury, Barrett denied all the accusations and claimed she would never do such things as she had a young son herself.
She said: ‘I did not ask him if he wanted to f*** me. I did not take him upstairs, I did not touch his penis and I did not make any of these sorts of comments.
‘I was just being friendly and sharing, there was nothing sinister in it at all. We were talking about school life, how he was coping with quarantine, what he wanted to do when he finished school and general appropriate conversation.
‘I mean I am a friendly person anyway, maybe my friendliness was misconstrued into something else but certainly there was no physical contact or anything like that.’
She claimed that the door was open to her house the entire time the boy was inside with her and that her bedroom door was also open as there was nothing to hide.
When prosecuting counsel Leo Seelig asked why Barrett had not made any comment in her first police interview, she said: ‘Because of what I was advised. It was a very unusual situation for me to be in and I was understandably quite shocked and a bit scared.’
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