A married babysitter who had sex with a 13-year-old schoolboy and had his baby showed a total lack of remorse, a judge said Nursery worker Leah Cordice had been out drinking for an evening before she had gone into the boy victim’s room where he was playing on his Xbox.
The now 20-year-old who had been studying childcare while working at a local nursery had denied the sexual activity, claiming instead that she had been raped by the young boy. Cordice was convicted by a jury of having sex with the child on at least five occasions and appeared in Reading Crown Court for sentencing this afternoon.
The nursery worker, who had denied five charges of sexual activity with a child, claimed that the boy had raped her. Jurors found Cordice, who will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on 3 April, guilty on one count.
Judge Peter Clarke QC, said: “Cordice asserted that the truth was that she had been raped by the victim on multiple occasions. It has understandably been urged on the court that psychiatric examination has found Cordice to be of borderline intellectual ability with an IQ of 70 to 85. I had and have difficulty with that assessment. Cordice gave evidence. She was clear in chief and she was combative and agile in cross-examination. At one stage I had no alternative but to warn her that she was doing herself a disservice in her interaction with prosecution counsel. Suffice it to say she showed no remorse for the events. Indeed I heard no indication from either Cordice or the victim that she held him in any particular affection, the evidence from at least one witness was of physical obsession and self-indulgence as opposed to emotional attachment.”
In a victim impact statement, the boy said he had been diagnosed with separation anxiety by a psychologist, which was a result of him having his child taken away by social services.
The boy told the court: “I cannot see my child and have not had any involvement with her recently. Seeing my daughter and then having her taken out of my life was very hard to cope with.
Leah Cordice, now 20, had been a babysitter to the child.
“It feels like I was punished for what I have been through. I hope in the future I can move on from this and have a relationship with my daughter.”
During the trial, the court heard the boy’s police interview, where he told how the abuse began when Leah started to hug him and kiss him, before pulling down his trousers and asking for sex. Jurors had been told how Cordice had groomed the boy by sending him complimentary texts calling him “cute” and giving him money for fish and chips.
Defending Cordice today, Tara McCarthy revealed that the defendant still stuck by her assertion that she had not done anything wrong.
The lawyer said: “This is a desperately sad case all around. There are absolutely no winners. The age gap between the victim and Ms Cordice is relatively limited. She is a very immature person, she is still and she certainly was then and it makes the situation difficult. She does accept this has had a significant impact on the victim. It is a situation that nobody really wants to be faced with.”
In March 2017, the boy she had sex with had been interviewed by police after one of Cordice’s friends sent an email to the nursery where she was working to try to blow the whistle on the affair, the judge heard.
Cordice had blasted the allegation as malicious and the friend was issued with a harassment warning and a penalty notice for wasting police time, the court heard. After the boy victim’s mother later complained to the police, Leah Cordice had been arrested at her home in Windsor on July 9, 2018, and she was later interviewed under caution.
She had provided a prepared statement, denying any sexual contact with the boy, and adding: “He has always had a crush on me and would always make inappropriate remarks and do inappropriate things such as grab me and annoy me.”
She denied that the victim was the father of her child but was forced to take a DNA test which showed, with a probability of 14 million times more likely than not, that the 13-year-old boy was the father.
Cordice had been living with her husband Mr Robbins, an apprentice mechanic who had believed he was the father and had been bringing up the little girl as if she was his own daughter.
Ex-husband Daniel has spoken about his devastation over his wife’s offence. Mr Robbins, aged 21 years, who had since separated from Cordice, said:
“There was an argument straight after the DNA test. I was bawling my eyes out. Honestly, if you want to talk about being traumatised, that traumatised me. I had a secure job, I had a nice place, I had a good relationship. I had an amazing life.
Everything was going so well and all of a sudden everything got taken away from me: my child, my wife, home, job. Cordice, who has since dyed her hair red, faced a two-week trial at Reading Crown Court, following which a jury convicted her of one multiple-incident count of sexual activity with a child which took place when she was 17-years-old.
For the one multiple-incident count, Judge Clarke sentenced Cordice to 30 months detention in a Young Offenders’ Institution and said she would be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years and would have to sign into the Sex Offenders Register.
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