Four-year-old sex abuse victim finally won justice after 40 years when her attacker was jailed
She said she had been left an alcoholic and drug addict who had made attempts to kill herself – once by jumping off a high building – by the cruel crimes of Thomas Dulson, 80.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, fled sobbing from Teesside Crown Court during his sentencing.
But she returned to thank the judge for jailing him for two and a half years to the jeering cheers of family and friends.
Prosecutor Robin Turton said the victim visited Dulson’s home and was sat on his knee before he touched her indecently under her clothing.
The memory haunted her but it was only six years ago that she blurted it out to a relative when she was drunk, and last year she found the courage to go to the police.
She said she wanted to protect his grandchildren from becoming victims like her.
Mr Turton read out a victim impact statement punctuated by her sobs from the public gallery.
In it she said: “This has affected my life continuously.
“I’m now an alcoholic and smoking cannabis each day.
“Drink was my way of coping. Until I met my current partner, I’ve never been able to have a relationship. I am really angry about what happened to me.
“I have self-harmed, punched a wall and fractured my hand. I jumped out of a window fracturing my feet, and I have made attempts on my life.
“I am finding it really difficult to deal with it as more and more members of my family learn about it.
“I want him never to be able to do to anyone the things he did to me.”
Rupert Doswell, defending, asked for a suspended jail sentence for Dulson after a psychiatric report said he was perhaps showing signs of early Alzheimer’s and was suffering from memory loss which would make any counselling difficult to succeed.
He said Dulson’s daughter had barred her child from visiting him which had led to a family rift.
Judge Tony Briggs said the sexual abuse had caused the victim considerable suffering.
The judge told Dulson: “It’s perfectly plain that she has suffered significantly as a result of what happened.
“It has gone on continuously and it is only six years ago that she has been able to report these matters.”
The judge added: “You are 80 and I understand your present problems as set out in the medical report. I bear in mind in particular that you pleaded guilty to this matter when it came before me for trial.
“I do hope that it has finally become of some comfort to the victim that at last you are admitting to what happened.”
Dulson, of Netherfields Crescent, Middlesbrough, was jailed for 30 months and ordered to register as a sex offender for life after he pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent assault, which carried a maximum sentence of 10 years under the a 1956 Sex Act.