AN 88-YEAR-OLD grandfather who carried out eight sex attacks on a young woman on one day is starting an almost ten-year prison sentence.

Arnold Bryson carried out the assaults at his home in Bondgate, Darlington.

He had claimed she had consented to the sexual acts, but was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault by penetration and five of sexual assault following a second trial earlier this year.

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Judge Christopher Prince praised the woman’s tenacity in bringing Bryson to justice as he handed the pensioner a sentence of nine years and eight months.

He told Bryson: “It’s been a long road for (the victim). It’s not a road that’s going to end today, but at least part of it will come to an end today with this sentence. Her tenacity in bringing you to court has protected others.”

Durham Crown Court heard the string of assaults included Bryson squeezing her breasts and touching her genitals.

The court heard he gave her money as she left and told her it was for “making my weekend”.

A victim personal statement, which was read to the court by prosecutor Nick Adlington, said: “I was the victim of a sexual assault. Since that time I’ve struggled and it’s had a huge impact. I struggle to speak about it because of flashbacks.

"At night I find myself lying awake staring at the ceiling and I still struggle to sleep even to this day.”

The court heard the woman’s relationship with her boyfriend had broken down as a result of the assaults, as she struggled to trust anyone.

Judge Prince said: “He subjected her to a series of sexual offences that so shocked her she lost any belief in the situation.”

The Crown Prosecution Service had changed its initial decision not to prosecute Bryson following requests by the woman.

Her personal statement added: “It was such a shock when we were told he wouldn’t be prosecuted. I felt like I had failed.

“We had to fight really hard to make sure it was not dropped.”

Rod Hunt, mitigating, said Bryson, who has been in custody for two months, was unable to take part in many of the activities because of his age.

He said: “He simply has to sit there and behave and that’s it, so it’s a harder form of regime.”