A PERVERT pensioner has been locked up for nine years for a series of sex attacks on children.
George Smith, 74, bribed and groomed his young victims during a 17-year campaign of horrific abuse.
He also showed one girl pornographic films and videoed her, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday.
One girl was physically sick when she had to relive her ordeal during police interviews, the court was told.
The victim told officers she felt guilty because she had not come forward sooner, so had not been able to prevent other children from suffering.
Smith, of St Andrew’s Street, Darlington, was arrested last year when one victim confided in his mother.
Some of the other children denied being abused at first, but later told police the truth, the court heard.
Smith initially said his first accuser was telling lies, but went on to make some admissions in interview.
When he was asked by police why he had molested the youngsters, he replied: “It is one of them things, but there again we can’t account for everything we do – not human nature.”
Smith admitted feeling shameful and his barrister told the court yesterday that he deserved credit for pleading guilty and saving his victims the ordeal of having to talk about their ordeals in public.
He admitted specimen charges of indecency with a child, indecent assault, assault by penetration and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
As well as the jail sentence, he was put on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from having unsupervised contact with under-18s.
Dan Cordey, mitigating, said Smith’s risk to youngsters after his release from prison will be minimised by intense supervision.
He said the pensioner’s poorly wife, aged 72, relied on him for day-to-day care, and would miss his help.
Mr Cordey said it was uncertain – given their ages and illhealth – if they would ever live together again after his sentence.
Judge Armstrong said: “The main thing was you pleaded guilty and it meant the youngsters did not have to give evidence.”