Hartlepool sex attacker jailed for 14 years after voluntarily confessing historic abuse to police

A sex attacker has been jailed for 14 years for abusing four boys after he walked into a police station off the street and confessed.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 3:06 pm

William Stapylton, aged 62, went to Hartlepool Police Station and held his hands up to a catalogue of abuse that he had committed decades earlier.

Teesside Crown Court heard his victims had been left with long lasting mental scars that seriously affected the rest of their lives.

Stapylton was jailed after pleading guilty to 14 charges against the four adolescents.

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William Stapylton confessed after voluntarily going to Hartlepool Police Station in Avenue Road. Picture by FRANK REID

Hid offences included serious sexual assaults, attempted serious sexual assault and indecent assault.

The court heard he plied one of his victims with alcohol before sexually assaulting him.

Paul Cleasby, prosecuting, said: “The offences came to light in December 2017 when the defendant went to Hartlepool Police Station.

"As a result of these admissions made, police traced the complainants.”

Sentencing took place at Teesside Crown Court.

In impact statements they described how they felt great shame for over what Stapylton did to them.

One suffered drink problems and another tried to take his own life.

Judge Chris Smith told Stapylton, who had previously served in the Army: “Each of their lives has been blighted by what you did to them.”

Stapylton, of Shrewsbury Street, Hartlepool, claimed he had been a victim of sexual abuse himself, and a psychiatric report found he now suffers from a mental illness including delusions.

He had no previous convictions or police cautions.

But Judge Smith added: “A custodial sentence of some length is inevitable for offending of this nature.”

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Francesca Siebrits, from Cleveland Police’s Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adult (CAVA) unit, said: “I’d like to commend the victims for their bravery in coming forward and for supporting this complex investigation throughout.

“The abuse they suffered has understandably had a detrimental effect on them, but I hope today’s sentence brings a degree of comfort and closure to them – I wish them all well for the future.”

CAVA Chief Inspector Deb Fenny added: “It’s vital that anyone else who has suffered abuse – whether recent or non-recent – comes forward to police.

“They can have complete confidence that our specially trained detectives will conduct a thorough and professional investigation with the victim’s wellbeing and welfare at the heart of enquiries.”

Contact Cleveland Police by calling 101.

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