Judges rule that Hartlepool rapist's 23-year prison sentence for abusing eight children was not excessive
A vile sex predator from Hartlepool who was caged for attacks on eight youngsters had his 23-year sentence backed by top judges.
John Jeffery Mawson, 57, was locked up at Durham Crown Court in May 2016 after jurors convicted him of multiple sex abuse counts.
The lorry driver's crimes comprised two rapes, one attempted rape, and other charges of indecent assault or indecency with a child.
The judge who sentenced him said Mawson still poses a risk to children, although his first offence was committed several decades ago.
At the end of the two week trial, Judge Simon Hickey told him: “This was a catalogue of sexual offending against young girls and boys spanning a quarter of a century.
“These were grave and heinous offences which, understandably, devastated the lives of the victims.”
During the trial, several of his victims described his sexual assaults on them as frenzied.
Mawson punched one young girl as he raped her, and told her later: “If you tell, I will come and kill you when you are asleep.
“No one will believe you, you will end up in a home.”
Another victim was slapped by Mawson, who later tried to buy her silence with £10.
One of his female victims was lured under the pretext of looking at baby rabbits, the court heard.
A male victim was lured by the promise of a tin of beer.
Mawson was arrested when one of his victims went to the police in 2014.
Mawson denied two offences of rape, one offence of attempted rape, 14 offences of indecent assault, and five offences of indecency with a child.
He was convicted of all offences after a trial lasting two weeks.
Mawson, of Park Road, Hartlepool, was just 14 when he began his reign of abuse.
His case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged his sentence, which he claimed was far too long.
However, Mr Justice Nicol, who was sitting with two other judges, took just minutes to reject his complaints.
“There is no reasonable argument that the sentence was manifestly excessive,” he concluded.