AN ex-councillor has been accused of carrying out a string of child sex abuse attacks on two young boys around a decade ago.

David Smith is alleged to have groomed one of the victims by showering him with gifts and taking the young boy on shopping trips before launching a sustained campaign of sex abuse.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Smith also targeted another young boy and tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to engage in sexual activity.

The 33-year-old, represented Coulby Newham on Middlesbrough Council following his election victory in May 2019 and stood down following his arrest, is accused of carrying out the sexual abuse while he was in his late 20s.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said the allegations first came to light in 2016 when one of the victims broke down and told his partner and his mother before he was eventually charged with 11 counts of inciting or engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Dealing with the allegations made by one of the complainants, he said: “It was progressive abuse, which is so common in cases of this nature. He said he didn’t tell anyone because he felt embarrassed, he said ‘how could you tell someone?’ “He would buy me all sorts and shower me with gifts.”

The Northern Echo: Former Middlesbrough councillor David SmithFormer Middlesbrough councillor David Smith

Mr Dodds said Smith used shopping trips to Edinburgh and Manchester to groom the young boy before carrying out the alleged abuse.

During police interview, the first complainant said Smith would give him cannabis and would carry out the abuse while he was sleeping.

The second complainant alleges that Smith tried to get him to play with his erect penis after exposing himself to the child on at least two occasions.

Smith, of Rainsford Crescent, Middlesbrough, denies all 11 charges.

The trial continues.

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