Kelsey Neave has been jailed for grooming a boy she targeted whilst playing Xbox online (Image: Eastnews Press Agency)

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A "besotted" woman manipulated and enticed a boy into sexual activity after befriending him when playing Xbox Live.

Kelsey Neave was at a “low ebb” in her marriage when she began talking to the child online, a court heard.

The victim was under 16 at the time and conversations progressed to a graphic and sexual nature from February to July 2019.

Eventually, Neave, 31, was confronted over the phone by the boy’s mother.

Neave, of Devon Gardens, Rochford, Essex, later admitted inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and performing sexual activity in front of a child.

Prosecuting at her sentencing at Basildon Crown Court, Marc Brown said: "Following conversations on the game it progressed to WhatsApp where it developed into sexual communication which led to the activity."

Neave was jailed for one year and seven months
(Image: Edward Starr Photographer)

Mr Brown said the boy’s mother began to become suspicious her son had a "girlfriend".

He continued: "Just prior to his birthday, Kelsey sent him a birthday card.

"The mother hid the card away but he took it from the cupboard and he hid the card in his bedroom.

"In the first week of July the family went on holiday. Throughout that period he spent a considerable amount of time texting and video calling the defendant.

"He showed his mother an engagement style ring and he told her he had bought it. He said that it was for Kelsey and he was going to give it to her."

Neave had met her victim while playing Xbox Live
(Image: RED ROBOTS MEDIAGRAB via REUTERS)

After his family identified Neave on social media, they told the boy to end the relationship.

The mother called Neave and told her never to contact her son.

Despite this, they continued to message, with Neave telling the boy to "delete everything".

Neave was arrested in January 2020. Police found hundreds of explicit messages and pictures on chat logs between the two.

Mitigating, Dreà Becker said: "She was very much besotted and in a spiral of things that went the wrong way for her.

"Her relationship was very much at a low ebb at that point, and she felt unloved and unwanted.

"All that she would wish is that she goes back in time and never speaks with him in the first instance."

Recorder Shane Collery QC said: "I hope never to see you before the courts again, but courts must punish behaviour like this. Children need protection."

Neave was jailed for one year and seven months.