Hartlepool dad locked up for Christmas over secret affair with schoolgirl

A dad will spend Christmas behind bars after he admitted having a secret affair with a schoolgirl.

Thursday, 22nd December 2016, 11:02 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:11 pm
Richard Sanderson

Dad of three Richard Sanderson sobbed in court as he was locked up for five years at Teesside Crown Court over the sexual relationshipo with the girl.

The judge, who described the offences as “extremely serious”, said Sanderson, 35, took advantage of the girl, who cannot be identified.

Teesside Crown Court

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Prosecuting barrister Paul Reid told the court Sanderson sent explicit text messages and it ended up with him having sex with the girl who was under age.

Police arrested Sanderson and he admitted engaging in explicit text chat with the girl, but denied any sexual activity.

Mr Reid said: “He admitted he knew what he was doing was wrong.”

Sanderson later admitted to police the relationship had been sexual.

Teesside Crown Court

He told the victim she was a good kisser and Mr Reid said she became attached to him.

She later described the relationship as “manipulative”.

Mr Reid said: “She went on to say she realised what he was doing was, as she put it, just disgusting.”

He added the case has had a “devastating” impact on the victim’s family, especially her mother.

Sanderson, of Dobson Place, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to ten counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said Sanderson had gone through “emotional turmoil” for most of his life which disinhibited his thinking.

He added Sanderson’s pleas of guilty was proof of his “remorse and contrition”.

Mr Constantine said: “He is sorry for his behaviour, he regrets it, as evidenced by his co-operation with the police.”

Sanderson, who entered the court dock carrying a holdall to take to prison, sobbed as he was jailed.

Judge Tony Briggs told him: “Quite clearly it’s extremely serious.

“It’s clear that the sexual activity continued even when you were being suspected and had the opportunity to stop it.

“You were a mature man with sufficient life experience to take appropriate action. That you singularly failed to do.”