Pervert watched porn with children before asking one to perform sex act

A HIV positive man who forced to young children to watch pornography has been jailed for almost four years.

The mother of one of the young victim’s told judge of the devastating impact Keith Vernon had on her son’s life as a result of his depravity.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the youngster was so traumatised by what he had experienced that he ‘thought he would be better off not being here anymore’.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, told the court how the offending took place at a sleepover in the North Yorkshire area when Vernon got the youngsters to watch pornography and urged one of them to perform a sex act on themselves, despite not knowing what the defendant wanted him to do.

He said the defendant had served two years for other sex offences.

Vernon, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and causing child to watch a sexual act in the summer of 2019.

The court heard how Vernon had pleaded guilty to offences and had saved the two victims from having to giving evidence during a trial and the judge had read a letter of apology written to the two children.

Judge Recorder Tahir Khan jailed Vernon for three years and nine months and issued him with a sexual harm prevention order.

He said: “You were in a position of trust and you abused that trust and that is a significantly aggravating feature.”

During a victim personal statement, his heartbroken mother said: “The past 20 months have been an awful time for our family and still is. This is something that we never thought that we would have to deal with, it has had such a detrimental impact on our mental health – emotionally and physically to us all.

“What you have done to our son, we will never be able to forgive you. We don’t think we will ever know exactly what has gone on.

“What we do know is that you have mentally, physically and emotionally scarred him at this present time and maybe for the rest of his life.

“You have made, our once happy boy, shy, timid and depressed. He now struggles with his emotions and trust with adults. He wants to know where we are going and it is more protective than ever of his siblings and doesn’t like any cuddles, hugs or affection from us.”

She added: “He thought he would be better off not being here anymore. As a parent hear your child say something like this is very upsetting. We have had to get him help with respective authorities supporting him and us as parents too.

“Hopefully, in time we will be able to help him overcome this and help fight any demons he may have and get him to understand no of this was his fault.”

She said the family was still struggling to come to terms with what happened to the two young boys.

She added: “When I found out you were HIV positive that added a lot more pressure on us as a family. I was disgusted that I had to take my children to hospital to have their bloods taken for a full screening.

“We will never forgive you for what you have done and we are struggling to understand why you did it.”