January 2021

Paedophile, 79, groped child until he was disturbed before apologising to victim

A paedophile groped a child before apologising to her for his actions.

John Gregory, 79, touched the girl through her clothing for around 40 seconds.

Teesside Crown Court heard how he then asked her if she felt uncomfortable.

When she replied ‘yeah’, he continued to touch her for another 30 seconds.

The sickening attack only came to an end when he was disturbed by another adult.

Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, told the court how the victim said that Gregory then apologised to her.

The girl read her victim impact statement to the court in Middlesbrough during his sentencing hearing on Wednesday.

She said that she struggled to sleep due to having flashbacks and she has nightmares most nights.

The victim said: “I’m constantly reliving a nightmare which I wish had never happened.”

The girl said that her life had stopped as a result of the offence and it has impacted on her friendships and relationships.

She went on to say that she is terrified of Gregory and he had “broken” her.

Gregory, of Regal Drive, Darlington, pleaded guilty on the day of his trial to one count of sexual activity with a child

The court heard how Gregory had previously been convicted of a sexual offence against a child

Judge Ashurst told Gregory that he will be sent to prison.

He said: “It’s clear that (the victim) was significantly affected by what happened.

“I accept on your behalf that you acknowledge what you did to (the victim) and you are sorry.”

Gregory was sentenced to six months behind bars and ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

He will also have to abide by a sexual harm prevention order and a notification requirements for seven years.