April 2005

Beast gets five years

A MINICAB driver who assaulted the children of family friends as they slept has been put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Colin Seal, aged 44, who worked for Abba-Dart Taxi Service in Sidcup, pleaded guilty at Blackfrairs Crown Court to two charges of sexual assault and two of indecent assault.

It was only when Seal’s last victim revealed her assault last summer the other three incidents came to light.

And police fear Seal, of Clarence Crescent, Sidcup, may have claimed more victims who have not yet come forward.

The court heard in August last year a teenage girl, whose parents were long-standing friends of Seal, stayed overnight at his Sidcup flat which he shared with another flatmate.

She, Seal and other friends had been out for the evening but she woke up in the early hours to find him in her bedroom.

The bedclothes had been pulled back and her underwear pulled down.

Seal was on the bed, with his hands on her bare thighs and his head between her legs.

The teenager fled to the living room in tears and told another friend what had happened.

The friend, in her early 20s, then confided the week before she had stayed at Seal’s flat with her young child.

While there she had been woken by an alarm in one of the other rooms.

Although her child was in bed with her, she realised Seal was also on the bed.

He had one hand on her breast and the other inside her knickers.

She had also fled the bedroom in tears while Seal stayed lying on the bed.

He later claimed he could not remember anything.

Following the second incident involving the teenager, Seal was asked to leave the flat.

The teenager then went home and told her family what had happened.

Prosecutor Tom Nicholson told the court that, to the family’s horror, her older brother broke down and revealed 12 years earlier he had also been indecently assaulted by Seal after a barbecue at his home.

As he lay asleep on the sofa, the boy woke to find Seal rubbing and sucking his private parts.

The boy then rolled onto his stomach and pretended to be asleep and after a few moments Seal left the room.

The court heard after Seal was interviewed about the assaults, another man came forward to say he had also been assaulted by him when he was about 11 years old and staying in the house where Seal had lived with his ex-wife.

He said he had fled the room after Seal had started showing him a pornographic film and had gone to bed. He then woke up to find Seal assaulting him.

Neither boy had told their parents what had happened.

James Sutherland, mitigating, said Seal claimed he had been a victim of abuse when he was a teenager and now realised he needed help.

Seal was sentenced to five years on each offence to run concurrently.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, banned from working with children for life and ordered not to associate on his own with anyone under the age of 18 or to have them stay at his home overnight.

Judge Alan Hitching told Seal’s victims, who were visibly upset during the hearing, they were not responsible in any way for what had happened to them and not to blame themselves for subsequent assaults because they had not come forward sooner.

“You cannot go through life with a series of what ifs’,” he said. “Allow yourselves the freedom to let it go.”

Detective Constable Mark Gay, who led the investigation, praised the courage of Seal’s victims in coming forward and said the sentences reflected the seriousness with which the courts viewed the offences.

He urged others who may also have been assaulted by Seal to call him on             020 8284 9361      .

Seal’s family, who knew nothing of his activities, have disowned him.