June 2021

Judge’s disgust at reading pervert’s sick messages to teen

Text messages sent by pervert Gavin Charlton to a teenager left even a crown court judge shocked.

The 40-year-old, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child.

And as he was in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court to be sentenced, Recorder Craig Hassall told him it was a “shocking experience” reading the messages he sent his young victim.

The judge said: “You are a man of good character, that makes it all the more shocking an experience to read the text messages you sent and seeing your invitation to her to engage in sexual activity.”

Christopher Rose, prosecuting, described how the victim was left shocked and distressed after Charlton sent her sexual texts.

“The text messages came out of the blue,” he said “She immediately told a school friend, who took it to a teacher.

“She was very distressed when speaking to the teacher. She remains very distressed by what has happened. The impact is immense.”

Mr Rose also read a statement from the victim, whose identity is protected by law, in which she describes the impact Charlton’s crime had upon her.

“I was completely shocked and disgusted. His actions have had a devastating effect,” she said. “This is something I have thought about every day. I find it harder to trust people. I get anxious when I’m talking to new people. I have become quite withdrawn.

“I spend a lot of time in my room and I feel as though I’m isolating myself.”

Charlton, of Garth 22 in Killingworth, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Recorder Hassall told him “The way she describes the effect on her is absolutely heart-rending. She is still dealing with the devastation”

Charlton will also have to complete 150 hours of unpaid work as part of his sentence and must sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

He was also given a restraining order to keep him away from the victim.