September 2023

Paedophile sentenced to 21 years

A paedophile who sexually abused children has been jailed for 21 years after his victims bravely came forward to inform police of their ordeal.

Joseph Stewart abused one of the youngsters in the early 2000s, with the other victim abused after 2010.

The victims, who were young children at the time, realised what had happened to them as they grew into adults and informed Northumbria Police.

Officers immediately began an investigation into Stewart and arrested him.

In interview, the 56-year-old denied carrying out the attacks but was charged with five counts of indecent assault, one count of indecency with a child, one count of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual activity with a child.

He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges but was found guilty following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in July and remanded in custody.

At the same court, Stewart, previously of Newcastle but most recently of Albion Gardens, Burnopfield, County Durham, was jailed for a total of 21 years.

Stewart was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, sex offender registration and a restraining order.