April 2017

Former soldier jailed for child sex abuse

A FORMER soldier and power station worker has been jailed for 18 months for the child abuse he committed more than 13 years ago.

Craig Sellers’ sex crimes have had major effects on both his victim and his family, York Crown Court heard.

Camille Morland, prosecuting, said the victim had suffered from mental illness including panic attacks and depression, as well as psychologically as a result of Craig Sellers’ sexual abuse of her.

She had difficulty forming relationships with people and had kept silent about what had happened to her for years. But she had recently had counselling, which was helping her come to terms with it.

An NSPCC spokesperson said after the hearing: “She has shown incredible bravery in speaking out to ensure that he now cannot endanger children.”

Andrew Semple, defending, said Sellers’ sister would have to substantially change her day to day routine to care for their elderly mother, who has mobility problems, while her brother is in jail.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Sellers he had exploited his friendship with a Selby woman.

“You used the opportunity of being in her (the woman’s) house to satisfy your sexual urges with the young girl who lived there,” he told Sellers, aged 46.

“You give the impression of being self confident, somewhat arrogant and certainly capable of dominating a young girl, which is what you did.”

Sellers, of Kellington Lane, Eggborough, denied three charges of indecent assault of a girl when she was aged 13 or 14, but was convicted by a York jury last month.

In addition to the 18-month jail sentence, he was also put on the sex offenders’ register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order banning him from any contact with the victim, both for ten years.

Mr Semple, handing in an Army discharge record, said Sellers had served his country “with distinction” for nine years in Bosnia, Iraq, Northern Ireland and elsewhere. As a civilian, he had worked for 21 years at Ferrybridge before giving up his job after his trial. He provided regular care for his mother.

The judge delayed sentencing Sellers after the trial so he and his family could make arrangements for his mother’s care during his imprisonment.

March 2017

Sex offender warned to expect prison

A POWER station worker is preparing for prison after a jury convicted him of sexually abusing a girl several years ago.

Craig Sellers, 46, denied three charges of indecently assaulting the girl when he was staying at her family’s home in Selby.

But after two-and-a-half hours in retirement, a jury at York Crown Court, convicted him on all three charges.

Defence barrister Andrew Semple asked for sentencing to be postponed while probation officers prepare a report on Sellers and for him to put his affairs in order.

Sellers was carer for his 82 year old mother, he said.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC allowed the postponement, but warned Sellers: “You must not expect or think for a moment that because I am granting you bail that the sentence will be anything other than custody.”

He released Sellers on bail until April 18 when he will return to York Crown Court to learn his fate and told him to register on the sex offenders’ register. The length of time he will be on the register will be decided in April.

In addition to the three indecent assault charges, Sellers, of Kellington Lane, Eggborough, had also denied three alternative charges of sexual assaulting the same girl. He has worked at Ferrybridge Power Station for more than 20 years.

The jury were not asked to return verdicts on the sexual assault charges after they gave their verdicts on the indecent assault charges.

During the trial, the victim, now a woman, told how Sellers had abused her when she was a teenager and how she had been unable to report him to the police for years until an event helped her to break her silence.