January 2018

Brancepeth child sex attacker’s victim went on to abuse boy

A man who groomed and sexually abused a boy in his early teens over several months has been jailed for eight years.

But, Durham Crown Court heard that Sean Murchison’s victim, who was said to have never previously taken part in any form of sexual activity, went on to abuse a younger boy himself, for which he is now in detention.

Although the court was told the boy, now 15, believes his own “sexual curiosity” was brought on by Murchison’s activities, the Crown has not sought to lay blame for his own subsequent actions onto the defendant.

Judge Christopher Prince agreed and said it would be, “a jump too far” to say the boy himself would not have gone on to commit sexual offences had he not already been abused in the first place by Murchison.

The 31-year-old defendant, formerly of Witton Gilbert, but more recently of Morley Lane, Brancepeth, went on to deny two counts of performing a sexual act in the presence of a child, and five of sexual activity with a child.

He was found guilty of all but one count of sexual activity by the jury following a trial in late November.

Murchison was remanded in custody after the outcome of the trial, and sentence was adjourned for an updated victim impact statement to be gathered for the court.

Mr Mullarkey said his victim made the statement from secure accommodation where he is detained following his admissions to his own subsequent abuse of a younger boy.

He said in his statement that at least he was prepared to admit what he did, while his abuser, Murchison, has never accepted his guilt.

Jailing him, Judge Prince told Murchison: “It’s quite clear and accepted that your behaviour would have accelerated the exploitation of this young victim.”

Murchison was also made subject of restrictions as to future contact with anyone under the age of 16 as part of an unlimited Sexual Harm Prevention Order and he will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

A restraining order was also issued preventing him trying to contact his victim, indefinitely