‘Selfish and brutal’ child rapist jailed for life after catalogue of abuse spanning four decades
A monstrous child abuser has been jailed for life for a catalogue of horrific sex crimes spanning four decades.
Cruel Paul Seaman, 57, embarked on a “campaign of rape” and sexual molestation against three young boys and one young woman.
He was branded a public danger with a “distorted” mind as he went to prison still denying his terrible crimes.
Judge Stephen Ashurst told him: “You are a selfish and brutal man quite prepared to take out your sexual feelings on very young children indeed.”
Seaman preyed on vulnerable victims in a string of depraved sexual offences dating from the 1980s until as recently as last year.
A jury convicted him of 18 charges after a five-week trial at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.
He was found guilty on nine counts of rape – five against two boys under 13, four against the young woman – one of attempted rape and eight of sexual assault.
The judge said this was one of the worst cases of its type, telling the defendant: “Your behaviour has blighted the lives of many people.
“The extent of your sexual misconduct has been, in my judgment, extreme.”
He said two of the boys feared their violent tormentor, were left damaged and dared not speak of what he did at the time.
“It may well be others simply would not believe the horror,” added the judge.
“What you did to those boys has been life-changing.
“It is hard to imagine behaviour more gross and damaging.”
Asked by police why he came forward, one of the boys said: “Right now he could be doing something else to another child and I don’t want him to get away with it.”
Another boy was left with “lifelong shame and embarrassment”, said the judge.
But there was “light at the end of the tunnel” as some of the abuse survivors had since made a “remarkable change”.
Seaman also forced himself on a kind and vulnerable young woman, touching and raping her repeatedly.
Judge Ashurst said Seaman’s sexual appetite “doesn’t show any signs of diminishing”.
“A discretionary life sentence should be reserved for cases of the utmost gravity,” he added.
“I regret to say, Paul Seaman, that this is such a case.
“This is a case that lacks a single mitigating feature. You have shown cruelty.”
Seaman was cleared by the jury of 14 other charges – four sexual assault counts relating to two other boys and seven counts of rape and three of indecent assault against another woman.
He denied all the charges and denied any wrongdoing, saying none of the alleged incidents happened.
He claimed all the witnesses against him were lying and had concocted false stories. He denied trying to bribe victims to buy their silence.
Seaman had lived across Teesside including in Stockton, Brotton, Grangetown, Dormanstown and North Ormesby but his address was recorded in court as Durham Prison.
At just 14 in 1973, Seaman was convicted of raping an 18-year-old girl on waste ground, and of indecently assaulting a very young girl in 1980, when he was 21.
These crimes earned him mere months in custody, and he was given a suspended sentence for abducting a boy from Middlesbrough in 2010.
John Elvidge QC, defending, said Seaman was of “limited intellectual ability when tested” and was on the borderline of learning difficulties.
He said Seaman had long-standing medical problems including epilepsy which he developed at 21 after he was attacked and suffered a fractured skull.
He will be on the sex offenders’ register for life and was given a restraining order banning him from contacting eight victims and witnesses.
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Simon Walker said: “This man continually committed serious sexual offences over decades – ruining the childhood of his victims and leaving them with lasting scars from his persistent offending.
“He has shown no remorse or regret.
“I hope today’s verdict is a clear indication to those who prey on young people that we will catch up with you and we will put you before the courts to ensure that justice is served.”