September 2015

Man jailed for more than 17 years, two decades after “campaign” of child abuse

A MAN who put two young children through a campaign of sexual abuse, warning both not to say anything as he would go to jail, is now behind bars, two decades after the offences were committed.

Sixty-six-year-old John Rollins is beginning a sentence of 17 years and four months.

Durham Crown Court heard that one child only discovered the other was a victim several years later, but it was only after a third party was informed, that it was put to Rollins.

Rupert Doswell, prosecuting, said on being confronted about raping the child, Rollins looked shaken, and, “his jaw dropped.”

But shortly afterwards he confessed, telling his accuser: “Aye. Aye, I did, but I was going through a bad time in my life.”

Rollins, of The Fells, a charity-run hostel for homeless men in Plawsworth, near Chester-le-Street, admitted three counts of rape, five of indecent assault, and four of gross indecency with a child at a hearing in July.

The court was told one victim felt, “disgusted and ashamed”, while worrying for the consequences if Rollins’ actions came to light.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said: “The defendant has limited recollection of events all those years ago, and, since the offending ceased, there has been no repeat of any offence.”

Jailing him, however, Judge Christopher Prince told Rollins: “When confronted, your initial reaction was to try to justify your behaviour, and then use a piece of utterly misplaced self pity for what you had done.”

Rollins was made subject of a sexual harm prevention order and will be subject to registration as a sex offender for life.