August 2019: Hamilton was released from prison last month and has links to North Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire

March 2012

Thornaby school worker’s child sex shame

A former school IT expert who systematically groomed, corrupted and abused a young girl has been jailed for 11 years.

The victim of child sex offender John Paul Hamilton’s worst excesses said he wrecked her childhood.

His past finally caught up with him as he was sentenced for crimes he committed against two girls decades ago.

Prosecutor Christopher Attwooll told how Hamilton’s repeated abuse of one girl escalated in the 1990s.

He repeatedly told her: “Don’t tell anybody. We could get into a lot of trouble.”

When she threatened to tell, he slapped her and walked away, Teesside Crown Court heard.

He paid her after making her carry out sexual acts which corrupted the victim to the point where she offered him such acts for money, the court heard yesterday.

She broke her silence years later, after he saw her as a pregnant woman and propositioned her. He ruined her childhood and left her mentally scarred, she said in a statement.

Now a mum in her twenties, she said the abuse damaged her confidence and self esteem, led to bad behaviour and affected her relationships.

He sexually assaulted a second girl, aged under 10, on one occasion in the 1980s.

She froze then resisted his advances. He stopped when he was disturbed.

Now in her thirties, she said the incident left her confused and immediately affected her, leading to self-harming, introversion and acute depression.

Hamilton, now 49, formerly of Stirling Way, Thornaby, latterly of Meadow Dale Court, Lingdale, admitted five charges of indecent assault.

The court heard he has been an IT expert at a school for 13 years.

He worked at the Thornaby Community School, now Thornaby Academy, until he was suspended in May 2010.

The judge, Richard Mansell QC, said: “This was systematic regular abuse carried out against this girl.

“It all having come to light, you must pay a very severe penalty for what you did.

“You’re not entirely aware, I don’t believe, of just how serious these matters were, or the effect upon the victims.

“You also seem to think in some way these two girls invited this behaviour upon themselves, which is typical of people like you who abuse children.”

He jailed Hamilton for nine-and-a-half years for his crimes against one girl, plus 18 months for one offence against the other.

Hamilton was banned from working with children and will be on the sex offenders’ register, both for life.

He was given a sexual offences prevention order governing his contact with girls under 18 and his use of the internet and digital images.

A Stockton Council spokesperson said: “John Hamilton worked as an IT manager at the former Thornaby Community School.

“He was suspended in May 2010 as soon as the police made the school aware of the allegations – none of which related to young people attending the school.

“He has never returned to work at Thornaby Community School or at any school in Stockton Borough.”