Schoolgirl who was sexually assaulted by paedophile showed ‘incredible courage’
A schoolgirl who was sexually assaulted by a predatory paedophile showed ‘incredible courage’ in coming forward.
The teenage victim was targeted by convicted sex offender John Thurlbeck, 61, who would regularly speak to her as she walked to school.
After initially not thinking too much into his predatory behaviour, the girl started to grow uneasy when Thurlbeck would loiter at the top of his street every morning waiting for her to pass.
Their brief interactions intensified over the next three months and on one morning he asked for the girl’s phone number and rubbed her thigh.
Terrified by his actions, the victim reported the incident to her mum who contacted police.
Thurlbeck, of no fixed address but formerly of Washington, was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of sexual assault and breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
After his victim reported the incident to police, Thurlbeck was arrested and charged with sexual assault and breach of a SHPO, which was imposed in July 2010 after he attempted to meet a child following sexual grooming.
He pleaded guilty to all charges at Newcastle Crown Court.