A 27-year-old man has been jailed for sexually assaulting a young child.
Stuart Thompson performed a sex act on the boy, and tried to get the boy to perform a sex act on him.
Thompson made contact with the boy on the pretext of playing on a games console, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“The boy disclosed what had happened to his mother,” said Robin Turton, prosecuting.
“A medical examination found the boy had bruising which was consistent with the assault having taken place.
“Thompson was interviewed by police, and denied any wrongdoing saying the boy must have watched some pornography and based his story on that.
“Further evidence against Thompson was found from a DNA examination of the boy’s underpants which had traces of Thompson’s saliva.”
Thompson, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool, admitted indecent assault of a child under 13 years, and he admitted inciting a child under 13 years to commit a sexual act.
Paul Cleasby, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Thompson did deny these offences initially, but said he wished to plead guilty after taking legal advice.
“He does now accept responsibility for his actions, and his guilty pleas have saved the victim from having to give evidence.
“Mr Thompson is a man of previous good character, so this will be his first custodial sentence.
“He has some learning difficulties, having attended a school for those with special educational needs.
“I suggest he is unlikely to offend in this way again, and he will be quite easy to monitor upon his release.”
Judge Tony Briggs sentenced Thompson to four years in prison.
The judge told him: “I have read of the shattering and corrosive effect your offending had on the victim and his family.
“Your eventual pleas of guilty did at least provide them with a degree of certainty.
“Those pleas show you accept the charges are a true and accurate reflection of what you did.
“I take into account your own difficulties, but you are a mature man of 27 years, and the victim is a young child.”
Thompson was made the subject of a life-long order restricting his unsupervised contact with children, and he must register as a sex offender for life.