A TEENAGE woman has been sentenced to eight months in a young offenders’ institution after she tried to intimidate underage victims of her boyfriend’s sexual abuse to change or withdraw their complaints.

Joanne Evans, 19, of George Street, Newport, admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice at Cardiff Crown Court, which heard she sent messages on Facebook to witnesses and Duncan Morgan’s teenage victims.

Morgan, 24, was jailed for six years and three months last month at Newport Crown Court.

In some of the messages, she posed as Morgan, asking people to withdraw their statements.

One person eventually did withdraw her complaint against him, the court heard.

And, the court was told, she continued to send messages online, this time as herself, when she was arrested for sending the messages last August.

Justin Evans, for the defendant, said she had miscarried Morgan’s baby shortly before and that he was her first boyfriend.

But he said she realised she had put justice in jeopardy and was sorry for what she had done.

Mr Evans said: “She was clearly letting her heart rule her head.”

He also said she was in full-time employment at Avana Bakeries in Rogerstone and that a suspended sentence would be more appropriate for someone who could contribute to society through unpaid work.

But Judge Daniel Williams told Evans her attempts to influence witnesses and victims had been persistent, “deliberate and utterly cynical” and that a custodial sentence was necessary.

He said he had taken her guilty plea in account, and she would have received a 12-month sentence if she had not done so.

Morgan, of Bridge Street, Abercarn, had sex with four under-age girls, Newport Crown Court heard at his trial last month. He was found not guilty of rape, but all of the girls who were groomed by him have since self-harmed, the court was told.