Derbyshire woman branded man “paedophile” on Facebook after texts to daughter

A Derbyshire mental health nurse branded a local man a paedophile on Facebook after he sent her 12-year-old daughter “various” text messages asking to meet up, a court heard.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 10:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 10:36 am

Anna Layton, 34, took “the law into her own hands” after the stepfather of her daughter’s best friend sent messages including “are you at home?” and “can we meet up?”

Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard how Layton later reported the texts to police and was told her daughter’s pursuer - known as “Jayy” during the conversations - was now “on a red list”.

However in the days that followed Layton’s daughter returned home “battered and bruised” after being beaten up by Jayy’s stepdaughters.

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Prosecutor Emma Cornell described how the beating led to a doorstep confrontation at the Shirebrook home Jayy shared with the two girls’ mother.

Ms Cornell told how Layton was heard saying “bring your daughter out and I’ll stamp on her head and see how she likes it”.

After the girls’ frightened mum - whose identity has been protected - slammed the door closed Layton was heard shouting “there’s a convicted paedophile inside” before walking away.

Following the row in July last year Layton posted on Facebook “I wanted to make others aware there’s a paedophile in Shirebrook” - identifying the woman’s partner.

Anna Layton, 34, took “the law into her own hands” after the stepfather of her daughter’s best friend sent messages including “are you at home?” and “can we meet up?”

She also wrote “please share - we need to protect our families” in the post - which was shared hundreds of times.

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After the terrified mum reported the post she was advised by police “not to return” home with her family.

Her children were forced to change schools and she also lost her job as a result of the allegation.

In a victim statement she said: “I’m scared of what might happen to us if we’re seen in the area - our children have had to change schools and have left their friends behind. It’s so unfair.”

However Layton’s solicitor Steve Brint, mitigating, said: “On the face of it seems a nasty thing to do but there is a background to it.

“In July last year Mrs Layton’s daughter was 12 years old and the partner of (the victim) had been texting her various text messages.

“That’s why Mrs Layton uncharacteristically went to (the victim’s) house and demanded to speak to her daughter and her partner about his messages and the fact that their children were calling her daughter a liar.”

Mr Brint read out glowing references from Layton’s colleagues - who described her as a “dedicated and caring nurse”.

He said: “This is not someone you would normally see before the courts and someone who because of these actions has to inform the Nursing and Midwifery Council.”

Layton, of Main Street, Scarcliffe, admitted sending an offensive message by a public communications network.

A magistrate told her: “Your actions were unwarranted and the consequences were very serious for (the victim).

“You took the law into your own hands which can never be condoned.”

She was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours unpaid work and a 24-month restraining order.

Layton was also ordered to pay £150 compensation, £85 court costs and £95 victim surcharge.

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