March 2019

An ex-prison officer raped and sexually abused a young girl

An ex-prison officer who raped and sexually abused a young girl has been jailed for 18 years.

Joseph Brettell, 65, committed the horrific crimes over the course of five years, from when the victim was of primary school age.

Brettell, of Rutherglen Road, Sunderland, denied the crimes – meaning the traumatised victim had to give evidence during a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

But he was found guilty by a jury of two counts of rape, two counts of rape of a child under 13, indecent assault, assault of a child under 13 by penetration and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

Brettell, now retired from his job in the prison service, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment on and was also put on the sex offenders register for life.

A close friend of the victim’s family said: “The great irony of this is Brettell was locking people up, when he should have been locked up himself.

“His crime has had a devastating impact on his victim. He thought he would get away with it but he was wrong.

“Being on the sex offenders register means the public are now safe from this monster.”