September 2010

Michael Martin abused teenager

A FORMER firefighter who had a two-year relationship with a schoolgirl dating back more than 20 years was jailed yesterday.

Bachelor Michael Martin, 53, abused the teenager almost every time they had secret meetings, Teesside Crown Court was told.

The girl – 20 years his junior – was sometimes given alcohol and Martin often gave her gifts as a reward for doing what he wanted.

The first time they had sex was after Martin gave her alcohol. She felt drunk and went to the toilet, and he took off her clothes while she was vomiting.

He also booked a hotel room at the Tall Trees, in Yarm, bought the girl underwear, took photographs of her and made her watch pornographic films.

When she realised what was happening was wrong and told him she wanted the abuse to stop, he became angry, Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, told the court.

The victim made a complaint to police last year, and said: “I feel this has destroyed my life.”

When Martin was arrested, police found child pornography on his computer, downloaded between 2004 and 2008.

Another schoolgirl also claimed she was sexually abused in the kitchen of Martin’s then home in the Nineties – an attack witnessed by her friend.

Martin pleaded guilty to five specimen charges of indecent assault against a child under 15, a charge of indecency with a child and 17 charges of making indecent photographs of children.

He was jailed for four years and put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Christopher Knox, mitigating, told Judge Les Spittle that Martin has bi-polar disorder, and may have had it at the time, resulting in a loss of inhibition.

Martin, of Kirkleatham Lane, Redcar, east Cleveland, was also banned from working with children for life and was made the subject of a Sex Offenders Prevention Order.