Mother defends allowing daughter's underage sex

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The Independent Online

The mother of a 14-year-old girl has defended her decision to allow her daughter to sleep with a 22-year-old man.

The woman, who cannot be named to prevent the schoolgirl being identified, claimed she was trying to protect her daughter.

But her actions have prompted an outcry with a senior politician branding them "totally inappropriate".

The boyfriend, Daniel Balfour, admitted in court having underage sex with the girl. He is now awaiting sentence.

The mother, who lives in Berwickshire, claimed that despite her best efforts she could not stop the relationship, so she let it continue.

In a letter to the Berwick Advertiser newspaper, she defended her actions, saying: "Do you know what your 14-year-old daughter is doing? Well I do!"

She continued: "Although I tried many times to stop the relationship, she carried on behind my back.

"As many mothers know, you can't lock a 14-year-old in their room until they are 16."

She added: "In an ideal world, we all try to protect our children and this is what I was trying to do.

"As much as I didn't like the situation, I felt that by keeping them close, I could monitor the situation rather than them running away behind my back.

"If I felt my daughter was in any danger from this lad, I would have killed him myself!"

Balfour has been placed on the sex offenders' register and will be sentenced at Duns Sheriff Court in Berwickshire in January.

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Bill Aitken hit out at the mother's decision, saying she should have put a stop to the relationship.

"It is totally inappropriate that the mother should have tacitly consented to this relationship," he said.

"Most parents would frankly have seen this man off at the earliest possible opportunity.

"The law is quite clear - sex with an underage 16-year-old is illegal, and a 14-year-old is not, to my mind, sufficiently mature to realise the consequences of a relationship of that type."

In response to the mother's claim she was trying to protect the girl, Mr Aitken said: "It's up to parents to exercise as much control as they can and whilst I accept that the daughter could have had sex with this man outwith her house, why on earth does she make it easy for them?"