A WOMAN has been found guilty of being in a sexual relationship with an underage girl, and has been told it is 'inevitable' she will be jailed.

Stephanie Shorney, aged 34, committed multiple sexual offences in West Dorset between January 28, 2017 and January 27, 2019.

The girl, who was aged between 14 and 15 during this time, cannot be named for legal reasons.

Shorney, of Hill View, Maiden Newton, denied all seven counts of sexual offences leading to a trial that spanned over two weeks at Winchester Crown Court.

The court heard their relationship began after Shorney, who had previously lived in the same area as the victim’s family, moved house in 2017.

The victim, who burst into tears recalling their relationship in the witness stand, became aware that Shorney had moved and they exchanged messages via Facebook messenger.

The pair met multiple times in summer 2017 and the girl was invited to family trips and frequently visited her home. Shorney told the court she ‘took her under my wing’ and treated her like the ‘daughter she never had’ and let her sleep over.

The victim told a police officer that they had continued to see each other in secret after Shorney’s husband told the victim’s parents about her sleeping in the same bed as Shorney and banned her from the house in September 2017.

The court heard details of their sexual relationship, including how the victim lost her virginity to Shorney and how she demanded the victim visited her address for ‘birthday sex’ on August 28, 2018.

The victim told police that the relationship had continued for two years and that she felt uncomfortable going public.

She added she felt pressured to remain in the relationship due to Shorney’s comments that she would end her life and would reveal to everyone their relationship.

“I didn’t want to because I didn’t really want to be in relationship and I was made to feel like I had no choice”, she said.

“Every time I didn’t want it or said it was wrong, she would say, ‘I’m going to kill myself’ or ‘I am going to ruin you’ and I feel like I had to do what I had to and carry on.”

Shorney confirmed she had a sexual relationship with the girl after she turned 16, but denied there was any sexual touching before her 16th birthday.

Shorney was arrested in January 2020 after the victim’s mother contacted the police after the girl spoke to her parents.

After four hours and 46 minutes of deliberation, the jury found her guilty of four counts of intentionally sexually touching a girl under the age of 16 as well as two counts of penetrating the victim.

Shorney was found not guilty of a separate charge of sexually touching the victim.

Following the verdict, judge recorder Mr Michael Bowes thanked the jury for their 'care and attention' during the case.

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report. Shorney will be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday, September 2.

Addressing Shorney, he said: “You have been convicted of six counts. These are serious offences in which a prison sentence is inevitable.

“You will be remanded on bail on the same conditions as you previously were on.”

Shorney was released on conditional bail, with the condition that she does not visit the victim’s home address or attempt to contact her.