March 2002

Pervert threatened to abuse victim’s sister

A six-year-old girl suffered years of abuse at the hands of a paedophile after her attacker warned that he would do the same thing to her young sister if she told of her ordeal.

William Best, 39, attacked the youngster at the home he shared with his parents and carried out similar attacks on a further two children while his mother and father were out.

The girl, who was ten when she broke her silence, revealed Best’s actions after she was questioned by her mother.

Best was arrested and admitted indecently assaulting and carrying out acts of gross indecency with three youngsters, and went before Newcastle Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced.

He was jailed for five years, with an extended supervision period of four years, and will never be allowed back to his home village, near Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

Judge Esmond Faulks told him: “You groomed her, made yourself pleasant to her and gave her treats, and then took the opportunity to abuse her in a disgusting way.

“You knew she didn’t like what was happening and said if she reported it you would do the same thing to her younger sister.”

Judge Faulks also branded the attacks on the other two youngsters “disgusting”.

Best, of Laurel Crescent, High Handenhold, will be registered as a sex offender for life and is also permanently disqualified from working with or having access to children under 16.

Defence barrister Ewan Duff said: “He has childlike qualities about him and it may be difficult for him to form a relationship with adult folk.”