Remorseless rapist who groomed and abused young girl locked up for 15 years
A remorseless child sex offender who groomed, molested and raped a vulnerable underage girl has started a 15-year prison sentence.
The victim bravely faced her childhood abuser across the courtroom, saying: “I thought people wouldn’t believe me”.
Prosecutor Shaun Dodds said Daniel Anderton targeted a “particularly vulnerable child”.
He gave her alcohol and medication to make her sleepy, a court heard.
At one point she fell asleep and when she awoke, he told her they had had sex and claimed she “enjoyed it”.
He made cruel threats to her to stop telling her anyone what he was doing.
“It’s such a relief to be believed,” the victim said, before she saw Daniel Anderton go to prison still denying his crimes.
She stepped into the Teesside Crown Court witness box to read out powerful statements about how it affected her.
She said the abuse had a “massive impact” affecting her relationships and leading to anxiety, depression, flashbacks, sleep problems, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
She said she had believed Anderton’s threats as he “blackmailed” her, only to realise later: “Everything he said was a lie.
“I remember feeling numb and every time he touched me I wanted it to end.
“My heart raced and I struggled to breathe.”
It left her feeling isolated, lacking confidence and finding it difficult to socialise, make friends and trust others.
“The night I told my family was beyond difficult,” she said.
“I couldn’t keep it to myself anymore.”
She remembered the relief and surprise she felt when, expecting a bad reaction, she was simply hugged.
She added: “I felt like it was all my fault because I let him do it to me.
“But now when I look back I see that I was a vulnerable child. He took advantage.”
Anderton, of Henry Taylor Court, Ormesby, Middlesbrough, denied three charges of rape, one of sexual assault and five of sexual activity with a child.
He claimed he only had consensual sex with her after she turned 16.
He admitted he had sex with another underage girl in his evidence, saying he thought she was over the age of consent.
The jury did not believe him and rejected his account, convicting him unanimously on all charges after a trial.
Anderton was supported by his “incredibly distraught” mother and friends who wrote references for him.
Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “Unhappily this court has seen an unpleasant aspect of your behaviour which displays, I regret to say, some very selfish and devious aspects which have underlined your capacity to commit these very serious sexual offences.”
He said Anderton exploited and threatened the girl.
“I’m afraid I’ve come to the conclusion that you really didn’t care less for the impact of what you were doing,” he told the defendant.
“You remain in denial about all of these matters.
“There appears in my judgment to be a complete lack of remorse or shame as to the damage that you’ve caused to others.
“That has to be reflected in your sentence.
“Unless your attitude to sexual matters improves in years to come, there remains a significant risk of you causing harm in the future.
“It is you, Daniel Anderton, who is responsible for the position that you find yourself in.”
Anderton was jailed for 15 years, of which he will serve half before the Parole Board decide whether it was safe to release him.
He was given an extra year’s licence for an “offender of particular concern”.
He was given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order banning him contacting the victim, going within 100m of her home, work or unsupervised contact with girls under 16, and governing his internet and devices use.
He will be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.