A man who was sexually assaulted by a teaching assistant from Wearside when he was a schoolboy says he has endured “years of hell”.
Philip Watson has been jailed for six years after being found guilty of a string of sex offences.
The 51-year-old was convicted of five indecent assaults on a male person, one sexual assault and one sexual assault on a child under 13 at Newcastle Crown Court.
The offences were carried out on three different victims.
Sunderland City Council have confirmed that Watson was employed by the authority from 1990 until last year, when he was dismissed for “gross misconduct”,
One of Watson’s victims today relived the abuse he suffered.
It was only years later as an adult that the victim, who is now in his 30s, realised he had been abused and notified police, who arrested and charged Watson.
But the victim also told of how the abuse he underwent caused him to turn to drink and drugs years after it took place and the memory of the trauma still troubles him to this day.
It was in 2015 that the boy relayed the experience at the hands of Watson to his doctor, after he had problems with substance abuse.
“I struggled with drink and drugs and got into trouble as well but I just got sick of it,” who is now a father.
“I told my doctor about what Watson had done to me and he said I should tell the police so I contacted them.”
After detectives arrested and charged Watson, of Raeburn Avenue, in the Biddick area of Washington, the victim then gave evidence via videolink at Newcastle Crown Court at the trial.
The victim however doesn’t feel that Watson’s prison sentence for his horrific crimes is long enough.
“I’ve gone through years of hell and he is only getting six years for what he’s done,” he said.
“I’ve had problems for so long because of what he did and he could be out in a few years’ time.
“I very rarely leave the house now and I’ve been diagnosed with a personality disorder too.
“People have said to me that I can’t blame everything in my life on what he did, but why can’t I?
“If it wasn’t for what he did I would not be that way.
“I had behavioural problems when I was a kid but should that always affect people for the rest of their lives?
“He might only serve a few years and get out for good behaviour.
“This man was put in a role of trust and he abused it”
A spokeswoman for Sunderland City Council said: “Philip Watson was employed by Sunderland City Council from June 4, 1990, until 12 May, 2016, when he was dismissed from his post of instructor/curriculum support worker for gross misconduct.”