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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Mum who had sex with son begs for town’s forgiveness

  Sylvia Payne and her son Mark Wall at their Maryport home

By Pamela McGowan

A MUM-of-seven who had sex with her teenage son has begged Maryport folk not to shun her.

Sylvia Payne wept as she told the Times & Star how she and son Mark, 18, had turned to each other for comfort and how that had been a terrible mistake.

Since her court appearance last week, the 45-year-old has virtually been a prisoner in her home, too scared to venture out. When she went out for the first time, on Tuesday, she was yelled at and rushed home.

She has also been forced to change her home telephone number because she was being pestered by national newspapers and magazines.

But, speaking exclusively to the Times & Star, Payne this week pleaded with townsfolk not to judge her too harshly.

“I respect the people of Maryport and I want to make it clear that I’m not evil, I’m not wicked and I’m not a dirty person,” she sobbed.

“I don’t want us to live like animals, too scared to go outside or even open the blinds. I’ve just been sitting in here crying my eyes out. I’ve hardly eaten and have nobody to talk to except Mark.

“I’ve lived here for 15 years and I don’t want to have to run anymore. I just hope they won’t judge me until they know the full story.

“I do want to tell everybody but I can’t until I know what’s going to happen to me and I’ve had the help I need.

“All I can say is that it would make horrific and graphic reading. Someone has always talked for me but when this is over I want to talk for myself,” she said.

She stressed that she and her son regret what happened and now just want to live normal lives, as mother and son.

“All it was, was for comfort. He’s not my lover, he never has been my lover and he never will be my lover,” she said.

Payne, of Gilmour Street, claimed that when she moved to Maryport from London she had to leave behind her four children. She also has three other children, who live in Workington.

Until he knocked on her door a few months ago, she had not seen her son, Mark Wall, since he was three.

She took him in but as they got to know each other again, she quickly discovered that the life he had been living was not how she had imagined it.

Payne said her past has left her suffering from panic attacks while Mark also suffers similar attacks and has a history of self-harming.

On July 21, the pair had been out into Maryport but came home to watch a Disney film, The Haunted Mansion.

They watched the video upstairs in the bedroom but Sylvia said they were both upset after raking over their past.

“It was just an innocent film, nothing dirty. Mark was having a panic attack and we just cuddled to comfort each other.

“He was upset and I was upset and one thing led to another. We had sex once but it had never happened before and it will never happen again.

“Afterwards I felt disgusted. We know it was wrong but when you’re under that much stress and strain it affects people in different ways,” she added.

At West Allerdale magistrates court last week, Payne admitted having full sexual intercourse with Mark. She was charged under section 65 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 concerning sex with an adult relation over 18, knowing that he was related to her.

She said she originally denied the charges, which were reported by a family member, because she was too ashamed to tell anyone.

She is waiting to hear when she will be sentenced - it is now not likely to be August 25 - and is preparing herself for the worst, a prison term.

Though her case was adjourned for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports, she had still not seen a psychiatrist this week.

“I’ve been to my doctor and he has been good but I’ve wanted to talk to someone for weeks. I want help but nobody has been in touch,” she added.

Other than her solicitor Mike Woolaghan, she only has Mark to support her.

Every morning she gets up and checks the front of her house for graffiti but knows she cannot go on living like this.

“The people of Maryport have made me feel welcome since day one and I just want them to know that I haven’t changed - I’m still the same person they always thought I was.

“I’ve never had a close relationship with my family and never had a proper childhood. I’ve been treated like a piece of meat all my life but I’m not, I’m a person and all I really want is to try and live a normal life here in Maryport.”

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