A WOMAN who admitted having sex in a shed with a 13-year-old boy has appeared in court.

Bolton Crown Court heard Janice Higgins, 60, played strip poker with the school boy before encouraging him to touch her sexually on a number of occasions.

The court was told Higgins, of Durham Close, Tyldesley, and the boy would kiss whenever they were alone together and on one occasion also had sex.

The incidents took place over a two-year period between April, 1993 and April, 1995 when Higgins was in her early to mid 30s.

David Polglase, prosecuting, said the boy was one of a group of children who would go around to Higgins’ house to play cards and drink tea when her husband was out.

From there the victim, who would often be wearing his school uniform, began visiting alone, both during the day and night, while her husband was playing darts at the pub.

On one occasion the defendant and complainant were playing cards and she suggested they play strip poker.

Mr Polglase said Higgins would “deliberately lose” and after exposing her breasts told the 13-year-old not to tell anyone.

She admitted a charge of gross indecency with a 13-year-old after the court heard she had sat next to the boy and undone her trouser buttons before encouraging him to perform a sex act.

On another occasion she performed oral sex on the teenager telling him it was “a treat”.

Higgins also pleaded guilty to indecent assault after the court heard they had sex while she sat on the edge of a chest freezer in a shed.

Mr Polglase added that the boy would sometimes babysit for the couple and stay over, with Higgins regularly coming into his bedroom.

The boy eventually stopped visiting, but began struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues and had tried to take his own life aged 19. The offences came to light after years of counselling.

Matthew Howarth, defending, said Higgins was a victim of historical sexual abuse herself and had also been in a violent relationship with her ex-husband.

He said there had been no violence, threats or attempts to conceal offending and had taken “serious steps” to address her offending behaviour.

Judge Andrew Hatton criticised the charging in the case, stating that “further acts were alleged and to some extent admitted.”

“It is regrettable the charging exercise does not reflect the criminality,” he added, before sentencing Higgins for two years imprisonment suspended for two years.