October 2017

‘High risk’ child molester assaulted girls too young to understand what was happening to them

A child molester who sexually assaulted two girls too young to understand what was happening to them is in prison today.

Paul James, 39, went to jail still denying his crimes while the two girls he attacked still suffer the effects of his crimes.

Teesside Crown Court heard moving statements about how the abuse affected their lives, leading them both to self-harm.

James touched the first girl repeatedly despite her protestations and attempts to stop him.

He ignored her when she told him to stop and told her not to tell anyone what he had done.

She later became upset and told her mother what had happened.

She addressed James directly in a personal statement read out in the courtroom.

“The abuse made me feel unclean and dirty,” she said.

The painful memories marred special occasions and made her feel anxious and angry, and affected her education.

She said she did not go out, did not trust boys and hurt herself through frustration at coping with her ordeal.

Judge Howard Crowson said on Wednesday. “I hope in time she will realise she was innocent. She did nothing wrong.”

James abused a second girl, telling her to undress and shouting “just do it” when she asked him why.

He touched her then shouted at her to “go away”.

She later broke down and curled into a ball when her mother talked to her about internet safety, going on to reveal what James had done.

The mum said in her statement that her daughter’s behaviour was affected, saying that she hit and bit herself in temper, could be “highly confrontational” and her eating was erratic.

James was convicted by a jury on five charges of sexual assault of a child under 13 after a trial last month.

James, of Summerfield Grove, Thornaby, denied all of the offences, saying none of it happened.

The Probation Service assessed him as posing a high risk in relation to children.

Louise Harrison, defending, said: “Mr James understands that there is very little that I can say on his behalf.”

James showed no reaction in the dock as he was jailed for six-and-a-half years.

He was given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order banning him from contact with under-16s or working with under-18s.

He will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.

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