December 2015

Relief for victims as paedophile is jailed

GP

The victim of a paedophile who preyed on her when she was a little girl spoke of her relief that no more children will suffer at his hands.

Geoffrey Peacock was jailed for five and a half years yesterday for sex offences against two vulnerable youngsters.

Teesside Crown Court heard he touched both girls inappropriately, pretending it was a game, and also exposed himself.

On another occasion he was caught cutting one of the girl’s hair while pornography played on a video on the television.

Both girls were under 13 at the time and the court was told how their lives had been seriously affected by the abuse.

One said: “I feel like I have just been existing rather than living.”

The other told how she struggled to tell anyone about the abuse.

“In a strange way I didn’t want to hurt his feelings,” she said.

“I didn’t want him to think I saw him as a monster and always wanted to see the good in him even though I knew what he was doing was wrong.”

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court today: “She was too scared to tell anybody at the time.”

In relation to the other victim, he said: “At first she used to think it was an accident but realised it happened that much and it made her feel uncomfortable.”

Nigel Soppitt, defending, said Peacock had lost his home, wife and family since the revelations and had tried to commit suicide.

“He’s at an all-time low,” he added.

Peacock, of Copse Lane, Ingleby Barwick, Stockton, admitted four counts of indecent assault, although he attempted to change his pleas to not guilty as he was due to be sentenced.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said it was a “hopeless” attempt and went ahead with sentencing.

He told Peacock: “Offences against children leave victims ‘completely confused’.

“On one hand they don’t like what is happening to them but they are locked in a dilemma about who they are able to speak to about it.”

Sighs of relief were heard from a packed public gallery as Peacock was jailed.

He was also given an indefinite order preventing him from having contact with any girl under the age of 16.

Speaking outside court, one of his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was pleased with the sentence.

“There is a sense of relief that justice has been served,” she said.

“But the most important thing for me is that he can’t get to children anymore. It was because others were at risk from him that I came forward.”