Care worker, 45, is jailed for more than two years after having sex with suicidal teenager, 19, she met at a drop-in centre for vulnerable young people
- Michelle Baxter, 45, seduced the 19-year-old man while managed a care team
- She bribed him with cannabis and threatened to tell her husband about the affair
- Baxter, of Mid Glamorgan, only caught after the man attempted suicide twice
Michelle Baxter, 45, (pictured) seduced the 19-year-old man while managing a care team and the pair had a 20-month long affair
A female care worker who had sex with a suicidal teenager she bribed with drugs has been jailed.
Michelle Baxter, 45, seduced the 19-year-old man while managing a care team and the pair had a 20-month long affair.
She controlled the man by bribing him with cannabis and threatened to tell her soldier husband about their relationship.
Baxter was finally caught when the victim made two suicide attempts in 2017 and an investigation was launched.
Baxter, of Clydach Vale, Mid Glamorgan, admitted ill-treatment of the young man in her care and misconduct in a public office at a previous hearing.
She was jailed for two years and two months when she appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Monday.
Judge Robert Juckes QC said the ‘deeply vulnerable adolescent with a long history of causing trouble to those charged with his care’ had ‘suicidal tendencies’.
He told Baxter: ‘You said in interview he began very quickly to show a sexual interest in you which you found hard to resist.
‘It seems sexual contact started in January 2016 and escalated into a full sexual affair.
‘It is almost impossible to overestimate how profound the mistake you made in allowing that relationship to develop.’
The judge added that the situation that followed the affair was ‘predictably volatile’ which resulted in the victim trying to kill himself.
He told her: ‘In the course of this relationship you used bribes and threats to control him to your own ends.’
He added that Baxter had a previously ‘exemplary good character’ who had worked hard for her family and was ‘deeply anxious’ for her daughter.
He told her: ‘It’s unfortunate that the offence committed by adults falls very heavily on dependents.
‘It does seem you have shown exceptional remorse.’
She was jailed for two years and two months when she appeared at Worcester Crown Court (pictured) on Monday
Baxter was working for Herefordshire Council Children’s Services helping vulnerable people aged 16-25 when she fell for the victim in January 2016.
The blonde mum took him on long drives at night before having sex and starting an affair.
The court heard that during their relationship, Baxter appointed an inexperienced member of her team to work as the victim’s personal adviser who she ‘repeatedly undermined’.
The judge said the victim threatened to expose Baxter but she manipulated him by helping him buy cannabis.
She also threatened to tell her husband who the young man ‘knew to have been a trained soldier and of whom he expressed considerable fear’.
Baxter also obtained a £125,000 sponsorship for a youth links placement scheme that involved 24-hour support for the victim which he did not need.
Aspects of the young man’s ‘delinquent behaviour’ were also not reported to police and the judge said Baxter had deliberately manipulated her position to facilitate the relationship.
Baxter was finally caught when the victim made two suicide bids on August 8 and 22, 2017, and confessed to support staff about the affair.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Roberts, of West Mercia Police, said afterwards: ‘We take all complaints of ill-treatment and misconduct by care staff extremely seriously.
‘The investigation was complex and I hope that the victim and all those involved can take some comfort from today’s sentencing.
‘I would like to commend the victim for providing statements and helping us with our investigation.
‘We will always do everything we can to bring offenders to justice and to support victims involved in crimes such as this.’
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