‘Danger to young children’ – Hartlepool pensioner who abused girl then hid in Spain is jailed

JAILED: Frank Burgon
JAILED: Frank Burgon

A PERVERT pensioner who sparked an international manhunt after going on the run instead of standing trial for a string of sex charges is finally behind bars.

Vile Frank Burgon, 77, was described as a “danger to young children” after pleading guilty to three sickening indecent assaults dating back to the early 1980s.

In one of the assaults, Burgon drove his young victim to a secluded spot where he forced himself upon the young girl, who was younger than 14 at the time, in the back of his car.

But instead of giving his victim the opportunity for justice after she bravely came forward and reported Burgon’s behaviour to the police nearly 30 years later, the pensioner failed to turn up for his trial last year and went on the run for almost 10 months until he was arrested in Gran Canaria at the end of December.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Burgon “isn’t a man of good character” and served an 18-month prison sentence in 2010 after being charged with gross indecency involving another youngster under the age of 14.

He was also cautioned in 1993 after touching the breasts of a young girl in his car after he offered her a lift.

And now Burgon is back behind bars after Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, sentenced him to 47 months in prison.

Judge Bourne-Arton said: “You are now aged 77 but you are a man with a history of preying on young children, both male and female.

“You are a man who has shown you are a danger to young children.”

Burgon, from Dalton Piercy, also pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to comply with a notification requirement after the court heard he had previously been ordered to sign the sex offenders register following his 2010 court appearance.

After signing the register, Burgon was required to make the police aware if he was leaving the country for more than three days but the court heard he jetted out to Turkey on two occasions without notifying officers.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to attend court after not turning up for his trial last year, which Judge Bourne-Arton described as an “extremely serious offence”.

He said: “It means that woman didn’t get justice.

“It means she was unable to come and tell her side for more than two years. She was unable to give evidence.”

Katherine Dunn, prosecuting, said the victim finally plucked up the courage to tell the police about the sickening attacks she was subject to as a youngster in 2011.

Miss Dunn said: “The complainant said she was young and naive and didn’t understand.”

Katy Rafter, mitigating, asked the judge to take into account the fact Burgon changed his plea to guilty so the complainant didn’t have to go through the ordeal of giving evidence at a trial.

She also asked the judge to take into account Burgon’s age when sentencing.

Burgon was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment for two of the indecent assault charges and 18 months for the other, to run concurrently.

He was sentenced to a total of four months behind bars for failing to comply with a notification requirement and six months for failing to attend court, both to run consecutively with the indecent assault sentences meaning he will spent a total of 47 months in jail.