Hartlepool man spared jail for 'isolated' indecent assault on youth 20 years ago

A Hartlepool man has been spared jail for a sex assault he committed when he was a teenager.
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Christopher McGibbon, 37, was given a suspended prison sentence for one count of indecent assault on a male under 14 more than 20 years ago.

He denied the offence but was found guilty following a trial at Teesside Crown Court this October.

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Prosecutor Shaun Dodds said McGibbon told the victim not to tell anyone what he did.

Teesside Crown Court.Teesside Crown Court.
Teesside Crown Court.

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Paul Watson, said the offence was so serious that only a custodial sentence could be justified.

But he said it could be suspended due to several mitigating factors.

They included it was an “isolated incident” and that McGibbon had gone on to lead a “decent, hardworking and conscientious life”.

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A report said there was little chance he would offend again.

McGibbon, of Fletcher Walk, Hartlepool, was given an 18-month suspended jail term, 150 hours community service and up to 30 rehabilitation activity days.