July 2017

‘That isn’t justice’ – child sex crime victim dismayed as paedophile walks free from court

A woman who was sexually assaulted when she was a schoolgirl has said she feels the guilt has been moved from her onto her attacker after she faced him in court.

But the victim of Leslie Morris has said she feels let down by the justice system after seeing him walk free from court.

The 83-year-old, from Godfrey Road, Grindon, was given an absolute discharge after being found guilty of six charges of indecent assault, contrary to the Sexual Offences Act 1956, relating to incidents in the 1970s.

The final hearing in the case was heard at Newcastle’s Moot Hall and formally recorded he had committed the offences.

The court heard he had been found unfit to stand trial, with a jury going on to determine he had carried out the assaults.

It was also told he was not suitable for a hospital order or supervision, leaving the court the only option of an absolute discharge.

He was told he must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

Following the case, his victim said how it had taken courage to speak to police about what had happened her all those years ago.

The process of bringing it to court took almost two years, with counselling helping her to deal with having to go through the ordeal once again.

She said: “It took so long before I felt strong enough to go through it all. “I’ve been fighting depression on and off and I’ve been to see a psychiatric nurse to get help from her.

“This is the kind of thing that stays with you for the rest of your life.

“When I heard there was a guilty verdict, when you have felt guilty for most of your life, it felt like the guilt had been shifted on to him.

“I was delighted before, when I heard he was going to be charged and before I went to court.

“But even though he was found guilty it didn’t mean he was going to jail. “I want people to know what he has done.

“I want him to be named and shamed. “I don’t feel I’ve got that from the court, that isn’t justice.”

Morris, formerly of Thorney Close, worked at Plesseys