May 2010

Child-sex man groomed and abused girls before paying for their silence

A 47-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed after he sexually corrupted two young girls and then paid them to keep quiet.

Derby Crown Court heard how Anthony Durant, of Arthur Street, Castle Gresley, had given the girls about £200 to £250 during a five-year period after he made them perform sexual acts.

Recorder Shaun Smith QC said Durant had exposed the girls, who were both under 16, to sexual corruption and abuse.

He said: “You thoroughly and utterly corrupted those two girls, so much so that what they thought they were doing was normal.

“You have done untold damage to those two girls.”

The court heard the offences happened in a variety of places, including in the summer house and garage at Durant’s home.

Mark Watson, prosecuting, said he then started to pay the girls and, by May 2009, had given them about £200 to £250.

He said they had threatened to tell someone and one of them sent a text to Durant, which was seen by his wife. Mr Watson said one of the girls had turned to drink and had self-harmed, while the other had withdrawn into herself.

Durant admitted nine counts of causing or inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity. He also admitted a further count of causing or inciting a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity.

Sarah Munro, in mitigation, said Durant was deeply remorseful about what he had done and his guilty pleas had spared the girls from the “horrendous ordeal” of a trial.

She said he had no previous convictions of this nature. She said: “He accepts and appreciates the damage he has done.”

The court also heard 20 references had been made by people describing Durant’s positive and good character. Recorder Smith said one reference summed them all up by referring to him as “honest and reliable”. He said: “You lived a double life.”

Durant was jailed for four years, ordered to sign the sexual offenders’ register and was disqualified from working with children.