December 2017

County Durham pervert sentenced to nine years

A 21-year-old County Durham man who admitted to having sexual relations with two 13-year old girls has been sentenced to nine years

Connor Atkins of Stanley, County Durham who was 19 at the time of the offences who previously tried to retract his guilty pleas, has now been jailed by Judge Christopher Prince at Durham Crown Court.

The court heard that in February of this year Atkins pleaded guilty to six charges in relation to his offending which took place when he was living at Poplar Street, Stanley.

However, in a turn of events he then tried to retract his guilty pleas but his application was refused by a judge, meaning the six counts of sexual activity with a child stood.

Imposing a nine-year prison sentence on Atkins, Judge Christopher prince told him: “In the letter handed to your counsel you say you feel ashamed and you take full responsibility”

“Well you might feel embarrassed by what you did, but I don’t feel you have any sense of shame, as you tried to evade responsibility, by asking to withdraw your guilty pleas, to try to escape answering for what you did”

Judge prince said that this meant that the victims had renewed anxiety at the possibility of having to come to court to give evidence and for their account to be questioned and it created a considerable delay in court proceedings as a result.

Paul Reid, prosecuting said the offences took place over a two-day period, when the defendant, then aged 19, was living at Poplar Street, Stanley.

One charge involved one of the victims and five related to the other.

It came to light following discussions at school and a teacher was notified, resulting in police involvement.

Mr Reid said one of the girls believed that she “loved” Atkins and chose not to submit a victim statement. 

Sentencing him judge Christopher Prince told Atkins “There isn’t much difference between 55 and 60, but there is a significant difference between 13 and 19.

Atkins will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and must register as a sex offender indefinitely.