A JUDGE said he hoped the jailing of a man for sexually abusing a vulnerable young girl would bring his brave victim “closure”.

Judge Ray Singh was speaking after imposing a 12-year prison sentence on defendant Mark Dyson, days after his conviction at trial, last week.

The 58-year-old defendant, of Garden Close, Consett, originally denied 17 sexual offences relating to the same victim, at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, in February.

By the time his trial got under way, on Tuesday last week, the Crown preferred a new indictment, featuring ten charges.

He denied two counts each of indecent assault and indecency with a child, plus six of sexual assault on a child.

Following a four-day hearing the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on seven counts but cleared him on three of the sexual assault charges, which each alleged at least five occasions when the abuse was said to have taken place.

In her impact statement, the victim said she bottled up what had taken place in her youth until nine years later, feeling, all the time, like, “a scared little girl”, fearing she would not be believed.

She said even when she outlined the abuse to police she doubted herself and, despite the support of her family, was still worried she would not receive justice.

But, following last Friday’s verdicts, she said she was proud of herself.

Susannah Proctor, for Dyson, who has no previous convictions, said he worked until 2014, when he suffered a breakdown due to anxiety and, initially self-medicated on alcohol.

She added that he has since received the correct medication to deal with his anxiety and depression.

Imposing the 12-year sentence, Judge Singh said Dyson would have to serve eight years in custody, with the final four years subject to licence release.

He told Dyson that, throughout, he has not been prepared to show any remorse for his, “deviant behaviour”.

The judge praised the “courage and bravery” of the victim, telling her: “I really hope this is closure.”

Dyson was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, prohibiting him from having contact with children under 16 for the rest of his life.

A restraining order also forbids him from trying to contact or approach his victim, also for life, while he will be subject of registration as a sex offender, indefinitely.


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