November 2002

Child sex pervert jailed for 15 years

A former college caretaker was jailed for 15 years yesterday for the chloroform rapes of two children.

John Sanderson, who attacked the two boys, aged ten and 14, at a teachers’ centre in Darlington, shrugged his shoulders when Judge Tony Briggs said that he would remain a considerable danger for many years.

Sanderson, who was appearing for sentence at Teesside Crown Court, was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and told that his recall licence would be extended to ten years after his release.

The 35-year-old was found guilty last month of two charges of rape, three of serious sexual assault, and one of indecency with a child and indecent assault between February 1990 and May last year. He was cleared of two further rape charges involving one of the boys.

One of the victims tried to kill himself over his ordeals at the Northgate Centre in Darlington, and the other blamed Sanderson for him becoming a drug addict at 15.

Judge Briggs told Sanderson: “I have had the benefit of observing you and have formed the view that you have a dominant, manipulative and sinister nature.”

The victims said that Sanderson drove them to the centre in his Ford Capri with blacked-out windows and kept a bottle of chloroform in the college cellar.

The first time he drugged them, he poured the knockout liquid into white dust masks and told them to put them on. The boys woke up alone in separate rooms, half naked.

Sanderson, formerly of Darlington, and now of Dunholme Road, Newcastle, denied all their claims