June 2010

Man who paid boys to have sex spared prison

A paedophile who offered young boys money to take part in sex acts has been spared a jail sentence.

Keith Sunderland, 58, had twice been jailed for committing sex offences against young boys, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Yesterday, he was sentenced after admitting four counts of indecent assault on a child and one charge of indecency with a child.

The offences related to attacks he carried out while living at Sandriggs, Darlington, in the early Nineties. He had since moved from the town.

Sunderland had already been jailed for two years for gross indecency in 1992 for the abuse committed in Darlington.

But he was hauled back to court after one of his victims from that period, who had previously remained silent about his abuse, made a complaint to police in August last year.

Last night the man, who is now a father-of-two, said he still felt angry about what Sunderland had done to him.

He told The Northern Echo: “I want to kill the man. He should have gone to jail. I still feel angry towards him.”

The man, who had contemplated suicide, described how Sunderland paid him for massages, which progressed to having him take part in sex acts. He had paid other friends to do “odd jobs” around his home.

He said: “This has ruined my life. I have two children of my own now and I am very protective of them as a result.

I’ve had this bottled up for 18 years and even now I don’t think there will ever be any closure for me.”

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said Sunderland was already on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life. After being jailed in October 1992, he was then jailed for four and-a-half years in 1996 at York Crown Court for a series of separate indecent assaults.

This involved him again befriending young boys at his home and offering them cash to take part in sex acts. He also supplied them with alcohol and showed them pornographic videos, said Mr Dodds.

Simon Reevell, for Sunderland, now of Crossways Drive, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, said he had been in ill health, having lost one leg to a deep vein thrombosis and now being in danger of losing the other due to a serious medical condition.

He said: “Since 1996, he has not re-offended and has got married and become a respectable member of the community.

He is no way a danger to the sort of people who have been his victims in the past.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Peter Fox, said Sunderland’s offending had severe and lasting consequences for his victims.

He said: “Were you in good health even now I would be sending you to prison, but I am not going to do that.”

The judge gave Sunderland a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.