Victim of this sex offender left ‘feeling like a zombie’ and wanting to kill herself
A sex offender who blighted a young girl’s life when he repeatedly molested her has been locked up.
Stephen Jukes, 60, finally faced justice for a string of sexual assaults on an underage girl in the 1990s.
She told her mother of the abuse almost a decade ago, but did not want to say anything to police, Teesside Crown Court was told on Friday.
Jukes denied any inappropriate conduct and the matter went no further at that time.
Prosecutor Shaun Dodds said it came to light as Jukes was investigated for downloading images of child abuse in 2016.
When police went to the victim, by then an adult, she said she was ready to tell them what happened to her.
The court heard her harrowing description of Jukes touching her.
Jukes, of Lovaine Street, Middlesbrough, formerly of Hartlepool, again denied any inappropriate behaviour.
Later, on the day of trial, he admitted four charges of indecent assault.
He was sentenced for making indecent images of children in March last year.
He had 525 disturbing pictures of children, with a library of images transferred to discs, including more than 60 hours of videos on DVD.
He had been looking at the explicit images for three years, but claimed he found them by accident and watched them out of curiosity.
A judge did not believe him, but took the “more constructive” decision to pass a one-year jail term suspended for two years.
In a moving statement read out in court, the woman molested by Jukes told how his actions affected “every aspect of my life”.
She said: “It’s always at the forefront of my mind. I was only a child. I did not deserve what happened to me. Even now it still threatens to ruin my life.”
She said she was scared of Jukes and felt she was punished for what he had done as his actions had an impact on her relationships.
“I blocked everything out. I only remembered the traumatic incidents as flashbacks,” she said.
“When I have nothing else to focus on I have these images of the abuse in my mind.
“I decided to speak out about it. I just didn’t want it to happen to anyone else. I didn’t think the whole process would affect me so much.
“Every time I closed my eyes I could see his face. I slipped into a deep dark hole.
“I started self-harming. At that time I wanted to kill myself. I just didn’t want to be here anymore. I felt like a zombie.”
She said she might have ended her own life had it not been for her children, but she pulled herself out and came to court.
Still, she added: “I was so close to turning around and going home.”
When he pleaded guilty, she said: “I felt validated. Now people would know I hadn’t been lying.”
The judge, Recorder Andrew Sutcliffe QC, jailed Jukes for five years and two months.
Jukes was given a sexual harm prevention order restricting contact with under-16s and a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim or going within 100m of her, both indefinite.
He will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Pervert had more than 60 hours of child abuse films on DVD
A pervert who copied 60 hours’ worth of child abuse videos to DVDs claimed he found the hundreds of disturbing images by accident.
Loner Stephen Jukes, 59, confessed he had been downloading child abuse images for three years.
“You claimed you had found these images by accident and only watched them out of curiosity,” said Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC.
“I do not accept that for one moment.
“You found them deliberately and you watched them not out of curiosity but out of sexual gratification.
“Thereafter you sought to minimise your involvement.
“Not an uncommon feature in these cases,” he added.
Jukes was caught with 525 illegal pictures of children – 291 at the most serious level – when police raided his home and seized his computer and phone on June 1 last year.
One sample picture showed a 10-year-old being restrained. Others depicted six to eight-year-olds.
Jukes tried to cover his tracks by saving pictures to disc and deleting them from the computer.
“There were over 60 hours of movies on DVD,” prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court .
Jukes, of Greenock Road, Hartlepool , admitted three counts of making indecent images of children.
He had convictions for physical assaults on children in the 1980s which the judge described as “slightly worrying”.
Martin Scarborough, defending, said: “He has become a bit of a loner.
“He has some difficulty reconciling things, bearing in mind he has children and grandchildren himself.
“He didn’t seek to hide anything. He always admitted these matters. He made admissions in interview.”
Judge Bourne-Arton, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told Jukes: “Some people such as you may think this is an offence without victims.
“There very much are victims. The victims are those children who are forced to carry out the acts portrayed.
“You found interest and sexual gratification in that.”
The judge asked whether it was necessary to lock up Jukes
“Immediately I step back from that, bearing in mind your age and the fact it would be more constructive for probation to take you in hand and give up some guidance, guidance which you quite clearly need,” he told the court.
Jukes was given a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years with 35 days’ rehabilitation activity.
He was given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.