Hartlepool man found guilty of 14 sex offences against children

Sydney McDonald.

Sydney McDonald.

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A 62-year-old man is facing years in prison after he was convicted of abusing four children over five decades.

Sydney McDonald sexually abused children ‘for most of his adult life’, Teesside Crown Court heard.

McDonald was convicted of 13 charges of indecent assault and one charge of rape, after a trial lasting nine days.

The families of the victims spoke of their relief at the guilty verdicts.

“This has restored my faith in the justice system,” said the mother of one of the victims.

“My daughter has never been able to open up to me about what happened to her.

“Hopefully, we will all now be able to move on and start to get our loved ones back.”

The court heard McDonald’s victims were all under 14 years old.

The earliest offence took place in the 1970s and the most recent was in this 
decade.

The sister of another victim said: “We are so grateful to her for having the courage to come forward.

“It is thanks to her that the other victims have got justice.”

McDonald, of Staithes Court, Hartlepool, denied all the charges against him.

He told the jury he had been a happily married man for many years.

In a bizarre court outburst, McDonald said he had only hit his wife twice in that time, which he reckoned was ‘good going’.

He showed no emotion as the jury foreman read the 14 guilty verdicts.

Remanding McDonald in custody, Judge Tony Briggs said: “There will need to be reports about you before sentence can be passed.

“A lengthy period of custody is inevitable.”

Detective Constable Debbie Southall, of Cleveland Police, said: “He is finally behind bars and hopefully those affected by his actions can now put their ordeal behind them and begin to get on with their lives.”

McDonald will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court on February 8.