Pervert behind bars after jury finds him guilty of string of sex attacks on girl

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A PERVERT is behind bars and facing a lengthy jail sentence after he was convicted of a string of sex attacks and viewing child pornography.

Shamed John Byers, 57, was convicted of all 22 charges against him yesterday after a four-day trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The panel of four women and eight men found the father-of-three guilty of five historical sex assaults on the same youngster.

He was also convicted of 16 charges of making indecent images of children and a further count of possessing 475 indecent images between February 2009 to July 2012.

The victim gave evidence how Byers would indecently touch her on various occasions when she was a young girl.

She did not report the abuse until years later, leading to Byers’ arrest.

When quizzed by police over the allegations, Byers claimed to be “gobsmacked” and sickened by them.

It was his arrest on the historic claims that led to the discovery of all the illegal images of child pornography on his laptop computer.

The disgusting pictures included children believed to be as young as six years old.

Computer expert Raymond Savage told the trial how Byers downloaded 99 pictures in one 12-minute period in the early hours of January 11, 2011.

He had entered explicit phrases such as ‘tiny teen’, ‘schoolgirl’ and ‘pre-teen’ into internet search engines.

During his trial Byers claimed he stumbled across the images by accident after looking for adult pornography.

He also denied that he committed any of the sex assaults on the victim, who is now an adult and cannot be named for legal reasons.

The jury returned their unanimous guilty verdicts yesterday afternoon after almost a day of deliberations.

Judge Howard Crowson told him a jail term was inevitable and the only question would be the length of the sentence.

He remanded Byers, of Everett Street, Hartlepool, in custody until he is sentenced on Friday, May 30.