A 40-year-old woman who attempted to seduce a 15-year-old boy has avoided spending any time in jail.
Michelle Maree Ardron appeared in the ACT Supreme Court for her sentencing on Thursday (13 May) after admitting she forced herself upon the teenager.
Documents previously tendered to the court show in November 2018 the teenager was door-knocking people’s homes in Curtin asking if they wanted him to mow their lawns, during which he met Ardron.
He said he would do the work at her home for $40.
Later that month, he returned to Ardron’s house, thinking she appeared drowsy when she met him at the door.
It took him an hour to mow her lawns, and once he’d finished, he pushed his lawnmower through her back gate, which closed behind him, leaving behind lawn clippings he still had to retrieve.
He knocked on her front door and walked through the house into the backyard again. While he was outside, Ardron put on a “huge, poufy brown wig”.
When he came back inside, Ardron asked him if he smoked “weed” (cannabis). She told him he should after he said he did not.
Ardron then walked closer, kissed him on the lips and put her tongue inside his mouth.
She rubbed her body against his, kissed his neck and touched his genital area over his clothes while she took off her t-shirt and bra.
During these events, the boy was frozen, but eventually said: “I’m 15 and I shouldn’t be doing this.”
By then, having continued taking off her clothes, she was naked and replied: “Sorry, I thought you were older.”
The boy said he had to mow another person’s lawn, left her house and went home, feeling “shocked and conflicted”.
Ardron pleaded guilty to a charge of an act of indecency on a young person under the age of 16 years, for which she faced a maximum penalty of 10 years’ jail.
On Thursday, Chief Justice Helen Murrell said she would not be granting Ardron, who is now 42, a suspended sentence.
“This is a very serious matter and full-time imprisonment was not out of the question,” she said.
But she said a pre-sentencing report had shown Ardron was suitable for an intensive corrections order (ICO), which allows a person to serve their prison sentence in the community.
Chief Justice Murrell convicted Ardron and sentenced her to 16 months’ jail, to be served by an ICO with an extra condition that she abstain from drinking alcohol.
She will also be placed on the sex offenders’ register.
Ardron left the ACT Courts that morning and hid her face behind an umbrella as she walked out the doors and across the court’s car park.