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Teacher’s aide who abused boy said she ‘wanted someone to love me’

She also gave the boy $80 to have his mobile phone fixed and sent him a photo of her breasts on Facebook. Police later found explicit conversations between Woods and the boy online.

Woods’ plea hearing continued on Monday and the court heard she told a psychiatrist she was sorry and ashamed for what she did. Her “snap of the brain” was “so wrong”, she said, but she had never before felt that way.

Nicole Woods blamed a 'brain snap' for her actions.

Nicole Woods blamed a ‘brain snap’ for her actions.Credit:Nine News

“I always wanted someone to love me,” she told the psychiatrist.

“I never felt like that ever in my life.”

Defence counsel Jonathan Barrera on Monday said Woods was undergoing a “personality crisis” at the time, as she was using the drug ice and alcohol, and had been in successive relationships with two men – one long-term and the other for six months – that were marred by violence.

“She was in a vulnerable situation,” Mr Barrera said.

“This victim had given her the attention and she developed a false sense of intimacy with him that led her to commit the offending at a time when she was in a personality crisis.”

Woods’ drug use had also clouded her judgment, Mr Barrera said.

Prosecutor Craig McConaghy said Woods lacked insight despite her plea, and urged Judge George Georgiou to take a guarded view of her remorse.

Judge Georgiou also questioned whether Woods blamed the teenager for her crimes.

“She seems to cast some blame on him in terms of being the person to ask to engage in the sexual behaviour,” he said.

“She believed it was with his consent.”

Woods was now estranged from her family apart from a sister, the court heard, and had spent the past six months in a protection unit in prison.

Prosecutors say her crimes are serious and deserve more jail time, to denounce her actions and deter others from similar offending. Her lawyer concedes her crimes were opportunistic and a jail term is warranted.

Woods worked as a teacher’s aide at schools and childcare centres in the Melton area before and after her offending but her crimes mean she cannot work with children again.

Judge Georgiou will sentence on July 28.

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636.

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