January 2019: Mawson’ appeal – Mr Justice Nicol, who was sitting with two other judges, took just minutes to reject his complaints. “There is no reasonable argument that the sentence was manifestly excessive,” he concluded.

May 2016

Hartlepool lorry driver jailed for 23 years for catalogue of sex offences against children


A lorry driver who sexually abused young girls and boys for more than a quarter of a century has been jailed for 23 years.

John Jeffrey Mawson began abusing children when he was himself a teenager and continued doing so into his forties, Durham Crown Court heard.

Several of his victims described his sexual assaults on them as ‘frenzied’.

Mawson punched one young girl as he raped her, and told her later: “If you tell, I will come and kill you when you are asleep.

“No one will believe you, you will end up in a home.”

Another victim was slapped by Mawson, who later tried to buy her silence with £10.

One of his female victims was lured under the pretext of looking at baby rabbits, the court heard.

A male victim was lured by the promise of a tin of beer.

Mawson was arrested when one of his victims went to the police in 2014.

Mawson, 55, of Park Tower, Park Road, Hartlepool, denied two offences of rape, one offence of attempted rape, 14 offences of indecent assault, and five offences of indecency with a child.

He was convicted of all offences after a trial lasting two weeks.

David Lamb, defending, said: “Mr Mawson still denies all the offences, so there is little I can say about them in mitigation”

Judge Simon Hickey jailed Mawson for 23 years.

The judge told him: “This was a catalogue of sexual offending against young girls and boys spanning a quarter of a century.

“These were grave and heinous offences which, understandably, devastated the lives of the victims.

“Their suffering was increased by your denials, forcing each and every one to relive their ordeal during the trial.

“In my judgment you still present a risk to children, if presented with the opportunity to offend again.

“That is not a fanciful supposition, it is a fact.”

Mawson was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order, banning him indefinitely from unsupervised contact with children.

He must register as a sex offender for life.

The judge told Mawson he will be the subject of an extended licence ‘when you are eventually released, if ever’.

April 2016

Convicted child sex offender warned facing “significant sentence” after abusing eight people from same village

A CONVICTED child sex offender was warned he is facing a “significant sentence” after he was convicted for abusing eight people – all from the same village.

The warning was given by Judge Simon Hickey following the trial of John Jeffrey Mawson, at Durham Crown Court.

He told Mawson he must also consider whether he should be classed as a dangerous offender, in which case an indeterminate or extended sentence could be imposed to protect the public.

The 54-year-old lorry driver, of Park Tower, Park Road, Hartlepool, denied a 22-count indictment, relating to eight victims, when he appeared at a plea hearing in January.

Due to his denials, the victims were required to either give evidence in person or via video link at his trial.

The court heard all the complainants – six women and two men – lived in the same County Durham community at the times of the offending.

Most were underage when the incidents took place, but some of the offending was said to have continued after their 16th birthdays.

The offences, two of rape, one of attempted rape, 14 of indecent assault, including two on males, and five of indecency with a child, were said to have taken place between the mid-1970s and 2001.

Although complaints were made locally about 2001, it was only in 2014 that some of the victims went to the police.

Mawson denied all the charges saying he could not understand why they had been brought.

But, on the eighth day of his trial the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all 22 charges.

Judge Hickey agreed to a request by the defendant’s barrister, David Lamb, to adjourn sentence to allow for the preparation of a background report on Mawson by the Probation Service.

But he said he did not consider any need for a psychiatric report.

Remanding Mawson in custody, Judge Hickey told him: “You have been convicted, in my judgement, as the jury has found, on the clear evidence of eight victims.

“Those victims’ lives have been completely ruined by what you did to them when they were smaller.

“One matter to be considered at sentence is whether or not you are to be classed as a danger to the public.

“You must be aware that for these offences, a significant sentence awaits.”

Judge Hickey remanded Mawson, now 55, in custody, prior to sentence at the court on Friday May 27.