July 2002

Man jailed for sex assaults on young boy

A MAN who abused a young boy for more than five years was jailed yesterday.

Russel Hall was found guilty of three charges of indecent assault, at Teesside Crown Court in April this year, and was sentenced yesterday to three-and-a-half years in prison.

The 44-year-old had denied nine offences of indecent assault against a male, and a jury found him not guilty of six of them. Hall, of East Terrace, Hesleden, east Durham, was found guilty of the remaining three charges, which all related to one child.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said Hall had touched the child inappropriately, putting his hand over his mouth while he sexually assaulted him, and had threatened violence if the child told anyone.

Mr Sabiston said the three charges were sample counts representing a course of conduct that spanned more than five years.

Anne Richardson, for Hall, said he still denied the offences. She said he was a “rather reclusive and eccentric man” who had been attacked in prison since being remanded in custody.

She said he had been threatened even though he had been segregated in prison, and told he would be so badly cut he would not be recognisable.

Judge John Walford said the court had seen the victim, who seemed like “a rather sad and pensive” little boy, and said the effect on him could only be imagined.

He jailed Hall and put a restraining order on him forbidding him to have unsupervised contact with children under 16 for ten years, placed him on the sex offenders’ register for life and extended the period of supervision placed on him to the maximum of ten years following the end of his sentence.