A MAN who performed an "abhorrent" sex act on himself while standing in the doorway of a child’s bedroom more than 20 years ago has avoided being sent to prison.

Patrick Doyle admitted a charge of gross indecency with a child when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

Christopher Baker, prosecuting, said the 55-year-old, formerly of Thornaby, was initially reported to police over concerns about his behaviour at the time of the offence but no prosecution resulted.

Doyle’s victim said it had profoundly affected her life and family relationships.

In a victim impact statement read out to the court, she said: “No child should have to go through what I went through – he is a liar and a child abuser and I hope he feels responsible for what he put me through.”

Aisha Wadoodi, mitigating, said her client deserved credit for pleading guilty ahead of the trial and saving his victim from the ordeal.

Sentencing Doyle, of Tame Walk, Wilmslow, Cheshire, to eight months in custody suspended for 12 months, Judge Howard Crowson said: “You did behave in an abhorrent way once, there’s a risk that you could behave that way again.

“It does seem that you are able to live an honest life, free from crime, and I hope I don’t have to meet you again.”