A brave mum publicly faced the man who abused her as a child and explained the devastating impact his crimes have had on her life.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was subjected to sickening sex assaults at the hands of former South Tyneside pub landlord Raymond Craig.
Craig, from South Shields, who ran the Mermaid’s Tail bar in the early 1990s, is already serving a prison sentence of more than five years for another, recent, sex attack on a child.
At Newcastle Crown Court the 60-year-old has now been given a further five years behind bars, which will start when he has finished his current sentence.
Craig admitted six charges of indecent assault against the woman, which took place more than 20 years ago – but he had initially told detectives it was the victim who “had a crush” on him and branded her a “flirt”.
Speaking from the witness box, just feet away from the paedophile who has haunted her life, the woman stared straight at him and asked: “How can you say it was me?”
Reading her statement in court, she said: “When I was a child I thought what Raymond Craig did to me happened to everyone.
“I have been brought up to respect adults and that they were always right.
“Raymond was the life and soul of the party. As a child, I assumed everyone was like him.
“I was frightened to tell anyone in case they didn’t believe me. I didn’t want anyone to know.
“He said it was a secret and that no-one needed to know. I got the impression something bad would happen if I told.”
The woman also told the court that because of the abuse she acted more mature than her years as a teenager and started to sexually experiment early.
She said: “I wanted to do things quicker than I should have done because of the impact of what he did to me.
“I didn’t want the last person who touched me to be him. I felt guilty about what happened.
“It took me a long time to understand what love meant because he told me he loved me.”
The woman also told the court how the impact of what happened to her has effected her health.
She added: “I am frightened to go to sleep because I keep re-living it in my nightmares.
“All I can see is his face when I close my eyes.”
Looking into Craig’s eyes, she added: “I would like him to be sent to prison for a very long time and never be allowed next to kids.”
Craig must sign the sex offenders’ register for life and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order.
Judge Tim Gittins told him: “What you did to her was abhorrent.
“She has lived with your sordid behaviour towards her for the last 25 years.
“That it has deeply effected her is without doubt, as anyone hearing what she has had to say today would accept.
“You took that young girls innocence away but, I am pleased to say, you didn’t take her strength away and she was able to come forward in the way she has, particularly in expressing her feelings today, which I acknowledge.
“Clearly, at the age of 60, you remain a danger to such young girls by repetition of similar behaviour.”
Gavin Doig, mitigating, said Craig’s once decent reputation is in tatters because of his own behaviour.
He added that Craig’s guilty pleas saved the victim from having to relive, and be questioned in detail, about her ordeal in front of a jury.
South Shields pervert jailed after sexually assaulting 13-year-old girl in a tent
A pervert has been jailed after sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in a tent.
Sick Raymond Craig went into the tent the girl was sharing with her friend at a camping site in South Tyneside.
The 59-year-old lay down beside the terrified teen and began cuddling her, kissing her neck and rubbing his hands over her body.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Craig then went on to sexually assault the girl, as her pal lay oblivious beside.
Now Craig, of Arthington Way, South Shields, has been jailed for five years and 11 months after admitting sexual assault by penetration on a girl under 13.
The court heard had initially denied the charge but changed his plea when police found internet search records on his phone showing he had an abnormal attraction to teenage girls.
Matthew Donkin, prosecuting, said the offence happened on August 16 last year.
He said: “The defendant got into the tent and lay down beside the two girls. He gave them both cuddles. He then started rubbing the legs and back of the injured party.
“He put his hands up her top and down her underwear.”
Craig then went on to further sexually assault the teen before leaving the tent.
The attack only came to light, when the girl returned home and her mother noticed a love bite on her neck.
Mr Donkin added: “ Following that, she broke down in front of her mother and told her what had happened to her over the weekend.”
In a victim personal statement read to the court, the girl said she hadn’t been coping since the attack and suffered from flashbacks.
Mr Donkin said: “She finds it very difficult as she doesn’t wish to show her family she’s upset.”
Gavin Doig, mitigating, said: “This is a man of previous good character.
“He’s worked hard all his life and he held a responsible position. There’s a lot of good in this man. It’s a great shame he behaved in this way and now must go to custody.”
Sentencing Craig to five years and 11 months in prison, Judge John Milford QC said: “It’s clear from the pre-sentence you have no acceptance of what you did and say you don’t remember what happened.
“You don’t accept your abnormal interest in teenager girls.”
Craig was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.