November 2018: Dies in custody

December 2012

Paedophile jailed for 17 years after campaign of abuse

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A child rapist is starting a 17-year prison sentence for the systematic abuse of a child three decades ago.

John Scott was told by a judge that his crimes were “dreadful” and have left his victim mentally scarred.

Scott – twice convicted of child sex offences in the 1990s – still protests his innocence, a court heard.

The 63-year-old, from Brandon, County Durham, was found guilty of four charges of rape after a trial last month.

Jurors wept openly as the victim tearfully told how the abuse took place on an almost-daily basis.

The witness told of being haunted by guilt for not reporting the attacks as Scott went on to abuse others.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the victim suffers flashbacks and nightmares and has to see a psychiatrist.

Scott showed no sign of emotion as Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, told him that he had ruined his victim’s life.

Scott, who lived in Darlington at the time of the offences, was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Teesside Crown Court heard how he escaped with a probation order in 1991 for abusing a four-year-old.

Seven years later, he was jailed for three years for offences against another child, said Shaun Dodds, prosecuting.

Sam Faulks, mitigating, told the court: “Since his release in 1999, he has led an offence-free lifestyle which indicates he is able to control himself.

“One would hope that into his 70s and beyond, Mr Scott is not posing any risk to society.”

Judge Bourne-Arton told Scott, of Red Firs, Brandon: “The rapes you carried out were persistent and regular.

“You did all of that for your own selfish sexual gratification. This was the worst kind of abuse.

“The consequences have been dreadful. The victim has had a burden of guilt, shame and disgust to bear.

“You have caused your victim to be permanently damaged.

“You cannot claim it to be an isolated incident as in 1991 and 1998 you we convicted of indecent assault.

“You now may cut a sad and pathetic figure, but at the time you carried out this campaign of rape you were a bully.”

Mr Dodds told the court how the victim summoned the courage to report the abuse after starting a family.

He said the victim has “misplaced guilt” about the other victims and wakes from nightmares to see Scott’s face.