Stockton child rapist jailed for 17-and-a-half years
A child rapist has been jailed for a string of offences against pre-teenage girls – including three rapes, four sexual assaults and one indecent assault.
Anthony Thomas shook his head as a 17-and-a-half year sentence was passed upon him at Teesside Crown Court.
The 40-year-old had been found guilty of nine sexual offences against children following a trial in January this year
The jury could not come to a decision on another count Thomas faced – an indecent assault – and at court, it was decided the charge could lie on his file.
Thomas, of Del Strother Avenue, Stockton, was also sentenced for a bail act offence after he has absconded mid-way through his trial and was missing for a total of three days. He pleaded guilty to this offence and claimed he had been in a “distressed state”.
Teesside Crown Court heard on Friday how the sexual offences took place years ago and involved three female victims – all of which have been affected by his actions, said prosecutor Paul Cleasby.
Reading out one of the victim’s impact statements, he said she had been left “an emotional mess”.
Describing the impact it had had on another victim, he added: “As a child, she tried her hardest to put it out of her mind but was unable to. She felt it was something she wore or did, or if she had looked at him the wrong way.
“It was always something she couldn’t forget and she ended up feeling really depressed.
“It affected her confidence, she didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin, and she said she was left feeling unclean.”
Glenn Carrasco, defending, said: “Accepting the extreme gravity of these offences, there is a limited amount that can be said.
“The most important point I can make is that the offending had stopped prior to any complaint and prior to his arrest.
“He handed himself in to the police to be arrested when the allegations were made and he has no similar previous convictions.”
Mr Carrasco went to on say that Thomas is under the care of a mental health team and is on anti-depressants.
“He is a 40-year-old man who is going to be spending many years in custody, and he knows this.”
Sentencing judge, Howard Crowson, also gave Thomas a Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO) and a lifetime notification requirement.
Detective Sergeant Andy Richmond, of Cleveland Police, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the victims’ tremendous bravery. This has been a very long and difficult journey for them and their courage is humbling.
“The sentence handed today reflects the terrible and despicable nature of the crimes and I welcome it wholeheartedly.”