June 2017

Girl fought off serial child sex abuser with her teddy bear

A little girl’s story of how she fought off a serial child sex abuser with her teddy bear helped jail him for nearly seven years.

The girl was one of four child victims of married security guard Graham Halsall, 49, from Brotton.

Another was very young and the other two were of primary school age.

Halsall, who had a young family, was challenged by parents after the girl told her mother details from her ordeal.

She said she put her teddy between them to ward him off, but he grabbed it and threw it away.

Another used her doll at bath time to demonstrate what he had done to her.

One youngster said that he kissed her and his breath smelled beery.

Prosecutor Shaun Dodds told Teesside Crown Court that Halsall denied the allegations and the families decided that the girls were too young to face cross-examinations in a trial.

The youngsters suffered in silence until one girl told her husband and he persuaded her to go to the police last year.

She said in a victim impact statement: “My husband eventually made me realise that I was not being fair to myself and my daughter.”

Mr Dodds said that another victim reported:”I think about what he did to me every day and I always think would I be a different person if it had not happened to me.

“I lost all my confidence and started having panic attacks. I have in the past suffered with self-harming, and I never felt safe anywhere.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, said the girls were all young and the consequences of Hallsall’s offending against them were devastating.

The judge said he gave Halsall credit and more for his pleas of guilty which resulted in the girls not having to give evidence, and the fact he had an awareness of his problems and his difficulties.

Halsall, of Skelton Road, Brotton, was jailed for six years and 10 months, put on the sex offender’s register for life and given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order, banning him from working with girls under 16, after he pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual assault on four girls.

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