A couple who carried out multiple sexual offences against children have been jailed thanks to the bravery of their victims. 

Thomas Surtees and his partner Zoe Williams were brought to justice after their offending came to light after victims of Surtees reported they had been sexually assaulted by the 37-year-old.

This led specialist officers from Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department to uncover further offending, including by 30-year-old Williams.

The Northern Echo: Zoe WilliamsZoe Williams (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

Surtees, of Wallsend, was charged with 16 offences – ten counts of sexual assault, three counts of making indecent images, one count of taking an indecent image, sexual activity in the presence of a child, and engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Williams, of Widdrington, Morpeth, was charged with six offences – two counts of sexual assault, three counts of making indecent images, and sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Both appeared at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this year, where they pleaded guilty to all offences.

They were remanded in custody for sentencing.

The Northern Echo: Thomas SurteesThomas Surtees (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

On Monday (November 20), they appeared at the same court, with Surtees receiving a 15-year prison sentence with a five-year extended licence.

Williams was handed a prison term of ten years with a five-year extended licence.

Both were also handed indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Detective Chief Inspector Les Goodliff led the investigation and has praised the bravery of the victims.

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He said: “First and foremost, I want to recognise the bravery of the victims in this case. It is thanks to their courage these two offenders have been brought to justice for these truly horrendous crimes.

“I hope this helps give the victims a sense of closure and they can continue to build their lives.”

He added: “We would urge all victims of sexual offences to come forward.

“Our message is clear, we are here to support you and we will seek to bring those responsible to justice.”