September 2021

Durham paedophile jailed after attempting to rape young boy and indecently assaulting girl

Robert Fairweather who has been jailed for attempted rape and indecent assault

A paedophile has been locked up after attempting to rape a young boy and indecently assaulting a girl.

Vile Robert Fairweather targeted the two children between 1998 and 2004 in houses in Sunderland.

The 36-year-old first abused the young schoolgirl on a number of occasions before telling her not to tell anyone, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

During another depraved incident, the pervert, who himself was under 18 at the time, got his young victim to touch him inappropriately, prosecutors said.

The terrified child kept Fairweather’s sordid secret for years and, in the meantime, he went on to abuse a young boy.

The court heard that Fairweather, by then in his early 20s, attempted to rape the schoolboy at a house in Sunderland sometime between 2003 and 2004.

Now, the sexual predator, of Roseberry Villas, in Chester-le-Street, has been jailed for seven years after the two brave victims finally revealed what he’d done to them.

He pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecently assaulting a child under 14, one of gross indecency with a child under 14 and one of attempted rape of a child under 13.

However, he was convicted of the offences by a jury during a trial.

Locking him up, Judge Stephen Earl said: “Can I say to both [the victims] that no sentence I’m going to pass today will give you back elements of your childhood. That sounds trite but I mean that.

“I’m required to take account a significant number of factors in this sentencing exercise and no sentence I pass will be sufficient for victim of an offence like this nor, indeed, will any sentence be short enough for the purposes of the defendant.

“So, any sentencing exercise such as this, I will please nobody.”

In a statement, the female victim said she suffered in silence for many years because she feared she would not be believed.

She added: “Being so young, I had no idea what was going on but I knew I was not to tell anybody about it.

“At the time I thought I was doing something wrong.”

The court heard the woman had been left suffering from bouts of depression and anxiety.

Fairweather must also sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.