Hartlepool man who sexually abused two schoolgirls jailed for more than nine years
A man who sexually abused two schoolgirls has been sentenced to more than nine years in jail.
Vincent Douglas, 53, was jailed at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday, September 7, after he pleaded guilty to a series of sex offences against the youngsters committed a number of years ago.
His offending later came to light when one of his victims told staff at her college what he had done to her.
Douglas originally denied matters, including after the case was sent to the crown court.
But he confessed to six counts before a trial took place. He admitted two counts of sexual assault of a child, two of assault of a child by penetration and two of sexual activity with a child.
Douglas was sentenced to a total of nine years and five months in prison.
Police have welcomed the sentence saying it sends a clear message to abusers that they have nowhere to hide.
Judge Timothy Stead said: “This is multiple repeat offending.”
Referring to an impact statement made by one of the victim’s Judge Stead said: “She speaks of panic attacks and flashbacks and she herself feeling guilty.
"Of course she shouldn’t feel guilty, but that I’m afraid is a common consequence, phenomenon, of offending of this nature.”
The second victim talked about not trusting people or wishing to go out on her own because of what happened.
A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “We welcome the sentence handed to Douglas; it sends a very clear message that those who abuse children have nowhere to hide.
“Our specially trained officers will always investigate thoroughly any form of abuse against children, no matter how long ago it happened.
"Victims and their families will also receive specialist support from police and other agencies throughout the entire process while we do all we can to bring perpetrators before the courts.
“We hope today’s sentence brings comfort and a degree of closure to the victims and their families.”
Douglas, of Greenwood Road, Hartlepool, will be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
He was also given one year’s extended licence for when he is released.
Anyone experiencing any form of abuse, or has concerns about someone you believe to be at risk, is urged to contact Cleveland Police on 101, available 24 hours a day.