February 2020

Darlington man jailed for sexual assaults on teenage girl

A coach driver has been jailed for 21-months for sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Carl Sewell targeted the young girl on several occasions over a 12-month period, a court heard.

The 50-year-old pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual assault after initially denying the offences, which took place between September 2018 and September last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Sewell started abusing the girl when he grabbed her hand and placed it on his genitals.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said on the second occasion Sewell repeated the act but the girl got up and walked away.

The court heard that the defendant again targeted the teenager but this time he fondled her breasts while performing a sex act on himself.

On the next occasion, Sewell put his hand between the girl’s legs and rubbed her inner thigh before moving towards her genitals.

In the final sexual assault, he put his arm around the girl and held her breast for about 30 seconds.

Miss Masters added: “The girl told her mother that he had touched her breasts and the following day he sent text messages to the teenager of a sexual nature.”

The defendant was arrested on September 26 last year when he returned to Darlington following a two-week trip away working as a coach driver

When police searched his electronic devices they discovered that he had been searching porn sites using particular phrases relevant to the case, the judge heard.

Sewell, of Geneva Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to the five sexual assault charges.

Sentencing the defendant to 21-months in custody, Judge Paul Watson QC accepted the recommendation of the second pre-sentence report.

The judge accepted that Sewell’s assaults had all take place over the victim’s clothing but said the course of conduct during that 12-month period had been troubling.

“These are extremely serious matters,” he said. “However, I’m satisfied that you have come to terms with what you did and your remorse is genuine.”

Sewell was also given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and has been added to sex offenders’ register until further notice.