Mother and boy had year long affair

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The Independent Online
Sean Kinsella, the 14-year-old boy who ran away to America with his best friend's mother, has told US detectives that he had been having a "romantic" relationship with her for a year.

He insisted that it was his idea that he and Tracey Whalin withdraw cash and travel to Florida where they were discovered on Thursday, 12 days after they left their Nottingham homes.

In a taped interview with Detective Larry O'Neill, Sean refused to answer questions about their sexual activity, according to a transcript of the police report released to press.

He is reported to have told other residents in the children's home where he is being held in protective custody that he never wants to see Mrs Whalin again.

Mrs Whalin, 33, has told police that she was "aware that what she did was illegal and knows about the laws of consent".

The mother-of-three will appear in court on 12 August on charges of "lewd assault upon a child" and "interference with custody". She is being held at the Monroe County Detention Centre after being unable to raise the pounds 110,000 bail.

Nottinghamshire police flew to the US yesterday to speak to Sean before meeting American prosecutors on Monday. It is thought that they will press for Mrs Whalin to be tried in Britain, although the US authorities are expected to resist such a move.

Monroe County's assistant state attorney, Rayme Suarez, has said she must go through the local courts before any extradition request can be granted.

A Nottinghamshire police spokesman said: "Our officers will speak with local police and prosecutors. If they agree to return Mrs Whalin to this country, she will be interviewed and one of the charges she may face is abduction."

She could face up to 20 years in jail under American law - 15 years if found guilty of an assault and a further five if convicted of taking a child without the parents' permission. But if Sean was deemed to have gone willingly, lawyers suggested that Mrs Whalin's alleged offences might be regarded less seriously. He is expected to return to Britain early next week.

A Foreign Office spokesman said that consular officials in Florida had requested access to Mrs Whalin, but that this has not yet been granted. He added: "We are making sure that she has got access to lawyers and once we have obtained consular access we will raise any complaints she may have about the conditions in which she is being held with the authorities.

"We have also been in touch with the social services and the authorities over there in order to arrange transportation for Sean and a reception when he comes back to Britain."

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