A DISGRACED former Tory councillor has been found guilty of a catalogue of child sex abuse charges.

David Smith systematically sexually abused one young boy over a four-year period more than a decade ago and also exposed himself to another young boy in an attempt to get him to perform a sex act on him.

The 33-year-old spent £10,000 buying the silence of the first complainant as he showered him in gifts and took him on lavish shopping trips to Liverpool and Edinburgh.

Smith categorically denied the charges throughout his trial at Teesside Crown Court but jurors found him guilty of all 11 charges.

The court heard how he stood down as a Middlesbrough councillor after he was charged with the offences.

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

The first victim said in police interview how the impact of alleged abuse had a lasting effect on his life.

He told officers: “It gradually got more and more as it gone along until he was basically molesting me,” he said. “But I gradually thought ‘this is wrong’, I knew then that he shouldn’t be doing that but I said nothing because I was embarrassed.”

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Whilst giving evidence, the victim said: “He used to buy me all sorts, in the past he must have spent £6,000 to £10,000 on me easy. It was clothes, it was drugs, I used to smoke cannabis a lot and he used buy me it. He used to constantly buy me it every day, at least £20 a day.

“After I smoked it I would just go to sleep and as soon as I woke up, he would be touching me.”

The court heard how the allegations only came to light in 2016 when the first victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, broke down and told his mother and girlfriend.

Due to a number of delays, including the trial being moved due to the Covid pandemic, Smith finally had to face his accusers in court.

The second victim, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, was a teenager when Smith would expose himself and then ask him to touch his genitals.

He said: "He would flash me and as a kid I was shocked and didn't know where to put myself. After a month and a half, it went from him flashing me to him asking me to touch him. It got to the point where he was getting closer to me and got more insistent as found he was getting away with it."

Smith, of Rainsford Crescent, Middlesbrough, will be sentenced next month after being found guilty of 11 counts of inciting or engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Speaking after the verdict, an NSPCC spokesperson said: “David Smith used money and drugs to groom and abuse these boys over a prolonged period and is only facing justice now because of the exceptional courage they have shown in speaking out against him.

“We hope that this terrible case will encourage anyone else who finds themselves in a similar position to seek support and help no matter who the perpetrator is or when the offences took place.”

Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111. Adults can phone the NSPCC helpline on 0808 8005000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

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