A judge told an aged child sex offender to expect a hard time in prison as he jailed him for three years.
James Peacock, 79, was found guilty after a trial of sexually abusing a girl.
Prosecutor Shaun Dodds told Teesside Crown Court she finally went to the police last year. The woman said in an impact statement “I take painkillers, and I am scared of people, people who I don’t know.
“It has affected my confidence and has knocked me down. I am very shy and timid, I have not been myself for some time.
“I have had to live with this for many years, and I hope that I can get on with my life.”
Peacock, of Owton Road, Billingham, was found guilty of five charges of indecent assault and not guilty of one charge of attempted rape.
David Lamb, defending, said the pre-sentence report on Peacock did mention an alternative to custody.
Mr Lamb told the judge: “Although the facts of the offences are fairly straightforward , Your Honour may consider that a suspended prison sentence cannot be wholly ruled out.”
But Judge Howard Crowson said: “After all I have heard I am afraid that an immediate custodial sentence is unavoidable. I am also mindful that these are matters which will undoubtedly make it hard for you when you are in prison.”
Peacock was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him indefinitely from unsupervised contact with girls under 16, and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.