Paedophile David Weatherall of Knaresborough jailed for three years

A paedophile whose sexual crimes spanned more than 40 years has been jailed.

David Weatherall, 62, abused a child for years, starting when she was young, said Kitty Colley, prosecuting.

The girl, now an adult, told York Crown Court his sexual acts had led to her trying to kill herself more than once as well as other physical and mental problems.

But she didn’t go to police until Weatherall was prosecuted for having indecent images of children in 2019 and his case was reported in the media.

“My only hope in coming forward is so I can seek closure for what I have suffered for many years,” she said in a personal statement.

“My life was stolen from me. Nothing will get those years back of compensate for the trauma I have suffered.”

Weatherall, of Fossdale Close, Knaresborough, pleaded guilty on the day he was due to stand trial to four charges of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

He was jailed for three years and made subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order which bans him from, among other things, having any contact with children under 16.

“It is quite clear this offending shows your interest in children harks back some considerable time,” said the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris.

Weatherall will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.

In 2019, the same court heard how police found long videos of young children being raped and sexually abused at Weatherall’s home when they executed a search warrant there in 2017.

One video was 38 minutes long. The children were aged between six and 13 and Weatherall accepted he became sexually aroused when he watched them.

He admitted two charges of having indecent images of children.

Originally jailed for 10 months, the Court of Appeal suspended the sentence and reduced it to six months, taking into account the months he had spent in jail awaiting the appeal hearing.