Child abusers fail in bid to get sentences cut

Robert Black
Robert Black

Two twisted child abusers who preyed on young boys in Hartlepool have failed to convince top judges to cut their jail terms.

Robert Black was jailed for 16 years and David Brian Anderson got nine years and one month at Teesside Crown Court on March 17 last year.

David Anderson.

David Anderson.

They were among four men jailed for a total of 46 years over a string of offences that saw youngsters abused at a public toilet in Hartlepool.

Each of the men, who are now in their 70s, befriended children they met in the Burn Valley Gardens public toilets in Hartlepool, or elsewhere in the town.

The court heard when the pair were sentenced from Judge Howard Crowson who said: “In the 1970s and 80s the Burn Valley Gardens public toilets attracted men who wanted to abuse children.”

Anderson, of Grange Road, Hartlepool, admitted six counts of indecent assault.

The site of the former public toilets in Burn Valley Gardens at the junction of Stockton Road, Blakelock Road, Hartlepool.

The site of the former public toilets in Burn Valley Gardens at the junction of Stockton Road, Blakelock Road, Hartlepool.

Black, of Borough Road, Middlesbrough, but formerly of Hartlepool, was convicted of four indecent assault charges and another serious sex crime.

Now both aged 72, the perverted pair between them preyed on four youngsters in Hartlepool decades ago.

Their crimes had an ‘enormous and enduring’ impact on the victims, some of whom spoke of being ‘robbed’ of their childhoods.

Anderson groomed one boy and gave him ‘strong lager’ before molesting him, Lady Justice Hallett told London’s Appeal Court.

That victim described Anderson as ‘fat and repulsive’ but said he felt he had to ‘appease’ a man who had been kind to him.

Anderson had two previous convictions for indecent assault, the court heard.

Black had seven previous convictions, for 23 crimes, including making and downloading indecent photographs of children.

Lawyers for both men argued today that their jail terms were far too tough and should be reduced.

But Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Jay and Mr Justice Picken, concluded: “We have not been persuaded that the total sentences imposed were excessive.

“Both the appeals must be dismissed.”