January 2020

Police praise victims of elderly sex attacker who has been jailed

Police officers have praised two victims of a predatory paedophile as they came forward decades after being abused.

87-year-old Thomas Reed was sentenced to serve 18 years behind bars for horrifically sexually abusing two children at Newcastle Crown Court last week.

As a younger man, in the 1980s, Reed subjected a 10-year-old lad to a brutal and painful attack after luring him to his home with the promise of using his binoculars.

He also repeatedly sexually abused a little girl when she was as young as nine, and Reed was in his 60s, giving her sweets afterwards and telling her to keep quiet.

Both victims have been left deeply traumatised by their ordeals, which they were too frightened to report until recently.

But after coming forward and seeing their abuser be convicted, Reed is now likely to die in prison.

Reed, of Callendar Court, Gateshead, admitted indecent assault on the male victim. It would be classed as rape if it happened now but he had to be sentenced for the offence as it would have been categorised at the time.

He also admitted 12 offences of indecent assault and indecency with a child in relation to the girl.

He was sentenced to a total of 18 years plus an extra two years on an extended licence. He will be on the sex offenders register for life.

The court heard Reed was convicted of two counts of indecent assault in 1979, when he asked for 18 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

In 1981 he was jailed for six months for unlawful sex with a 15-year-old girl.