September 2009

David Herbert Leyland pleaded guilty to 14 sexual offences

A PAEDOPHILE has been jailed for more than nine years for a string of sickening sex crimes.

Pervert alcoholic David Herbert Leyland pleaded guilty to 14 sexual offences at Durham Crown Court yesterday, some involving a girl of only eight.

They included indecent assault and making a child commit gross indecency.

The 42-year-old, known to some as Nathan, also raped a girl under 16.

The offences date from 1993 to 2005, and took place in County Durham and Middlesbrough.

Leyland also admitted 16 counts of making and one of possessing indecent images of children at his home in 2005.

Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said he repeatedly forced a girl to dress in a blue silk dress and adult underwear he kept in a bag.

The court heard the assault continued as the victim broke down in tears and she later attempted suicide On his arrest in October last year, Leyland denied all the allegations and brushed them off as products of an “active imagination”.

“He said he would not change his testimony and was one of the softest, kindest people and he found it all very embarrassing,” she said.

Cleveland Police found 120 images of children on his computer when they raided his home.

Ten were classed as level four – five being the worst.

Peter Makepeace, mitigating, said Leyland came from an “incredibly disfunctional family” and was grappling with chronic alcoholism and depression.

He said Leyland now lived in fear and felt deep remorse. “He has had a difficult time living in a community where this is public knowledge.

“He has had to examine what he has done in the cold, harsh light of day,” he said.

Judge Tony Lancaster sentenced Leyland, of Emily Street, Middlesbrough, to nine years and four months’ jail.

“This was very serious offending on your part and a gross breach of trust.

“You placed your own sexual gratification over the interests of a child,” he said.

Leyland is disqualified from working with children and is subject to a sexual offences prevention order.

He has been placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.