March 2012

Man jailed after abuse trial

A CONVICTED sex offender who abused another youngster has been brought to justice years after he carried out the crimes.

Former Hartlepool man Hugh Hyland, 62, was jailed for two and a half years at Teesside Crown Court moments after a jury found him guilty of indecent assault.

Hyland was convicted of kissing the girl, who cannot be named, on her neck and inappropriately touching her on numerous occasions.

The brave victim buried the abuse for years before finally telling loved ones and went to the police.

The trial heard the abuse had a long-lasting impact on the victim who did not trust men and became depressed.

She had to relive her ordeal by giving evidence in court as Hyland claimed he was innocent.

And she sat just feet away from him in the courtroom when he defended himself in the witness box.

The trial was told that Hyland had to move out of Hartlepool after he was convicted of indecently assaulting three other girls more than 10 years ago and jailed for 18 months.

He claimed he had been wrongly found guilty and said the girl in the latest case was making up the abuse claims, suggesting she was after compensation.

But the jury of six men and six women unanimously found Hyland, now of Beacons Lane, Ingleby Barwick, guilty of five counts of indecent assault after several hours of deliberation.

Judge Peter Armstrong sentenced Hyland to 30 months in prison and issued him with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) to prevent him having unsupervised contact with children.

He will also have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register until further notice and was banned from working with children.