May 2018

Former Army driver from Northallerton jailed for child sexual abuse

A former military man has been jailed for three years for sexually assaulting a child.

Raymond Armstrong of Elder Road, Northallerton, North Yorkshire was convicted by a jury on what a judge described as “compelling evidence”.

The 59-year-old disputed any sexual wrongdoing during a trial last month, and returned to Teesside Crown Court to be sentenced after being remanded in custody.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said the two-week gap would give the ex-army driver time behind bars to reflect on his continued denials.

Being sentenced over a live video-link from Durham Prison, Armstrong was told by the judge that his actions have had a profound effect on his victim and family.

And Judge Ashurst said he was pleased to read in a report that he told a probation officer: “If that’s what was said, I must have done it.”

He added: “Because sexual abuse of children is rightly regarded as very serious offending, many who commit offences like this find it difficult to come to terms with their behaviour, and it is not altogether surprising, having read the pre-sentence report, that you have some way to go before acknowledging what you actually did.

“I am pleased to note that you do not now dispute what was said, and I hope in the fullness of time that it can be passed on that you accept it was the truth.”

April 2018

Child sex assault shame of ex-Army man from Northallerton

A former serviceman is facing an “inevitable” prison sentence after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a child.

A jury took little over an hour to convict Raymond Armstrong on what a judge later described as “compelling evidence”.

Armstrong from North Yorkshire, was remanded in custody after the verdict and will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court next month.

The 59-year-old denied any sexual wrongdoing with the child, and said if his arm had brushed past intimate parts, it would have been unintentional.

A 20-minute recording of an interview the child gave to police was played to the jury of six men and six women during the three-day trial.

Judge Stephen Ashurst adjourned the case until May 10 so a pre-sentence report can be prepared on Armstrong by a probation officer.

He told the former Army driver: “These cases are sometimes best dealt with after some pause for reflection, particularly on your part.

“The guidelines make it clear that the starting point for (these) offences is a custodial sentence.

“I will leave options open, but you must, I’m afraid, prepare yourself for a custodial sentence.

“A good deal of heartache has been caused and I don’t penalise you for pleading not guilty, but the jury saw some very compelling evidence in that interview, therefore, you had a choice.

“Given the likely sentence in this case, it would be holding out false hope for you to grant you bail until you are sentenced.”

Armstrong, of Elder Road, Northallerton, denied two charges of sexual assault of a child.

His barrister Kristian Cavanagh had said to Judge Ashurst: “Custody is inevitable in this case given the age of the complainant, but I do ask for bail in the interim.”

He added: “You are aware he is a man with significant health problems. They may well be easier to address while the defendant is on bail.

“He has a settled address and is a man of good character with no previous convictions.”