August 2020

‘Dangerous’ paedophile who stalked public toilets and abused boy, 5, put behind bars

A vile nonce who targeted a little boy just five-years-old and stalked public toilets has been jailed for 20 years.

Perverted Gary Short, 49, of South Frederick Street, South Shields, carried out a series of sexual assaults, including in alleyways, a trial heard.

Speaking in court his brave victim, now an adult, said how the attacks had completely “shattered” his life

He faced his attacker again as he read a victim impact statement to the court from the witness box.

He told how his emotions were now hard to regulate and how he now found it difficult to form relationships with women after Short, a manual labourer, took advantage of him on multiple occasions.

Short meanwhile denied all 13 charges of attempted rape, indecency with a child and indecent assault during a trial at Newcastle Crown Court, but was found guilty of all offences by a jury last year.

The victim, who is not named for legal reasons, said: “I feel every aspect of my life has been shattered by Gary Short.

“Even to this day it still affects me, I exist day to day feeling trapped.

“I get emotional for no reason, sometimes angry for no reason.

“It has had a huge impact on my relationship with women and my ability to hold down a job. I lost my job for having too many days off work due to becoming upset and stressed.

“The triggers seem to be everywhere, it can be being introduced to someone called Gary or it can be going for a coffee and walking into the toilet.”

He added: “Not once has he ever accepted responsibility for what he has done or apologised.

“He has made me relive the abuse again.

“I was so young, so vulnerable, so powerless and he knew that.

“I hope he finally realises the damage he has caused and justice is served by him being removed so he can’t hurt another child.”

Judge Robert Adams sentenced Short to 20 years behind bars with an extended licence period, which will involve “strict” conditions, for another year.

Short must sign the sex offender register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for life.

The judge said the offences happened at various locations, including “public lavatories and alleyways”.

Judge Adams told him: “At the time of the offending you clearly were a dangerous offender, you created a significant risk of causing serious harm.

“You continue to pose a high risk of such offending.

“You currently pose a significant risk of causing serious harm to members of the public.”