Sunderland OAP faces jail over sex attacks spanning four decades

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A Sunderland pensioner has admitted a string of sex attacks spanning four decades.

Neil Mitchell pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual assault, indecent assault and indecency with a child in relation to three females.

I am sure you will have been advised of this, but you should prepare yourself for a custodial sentence.

Mr Recorder Jamie Hill QC

The offences took place in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, with the last one happening in 2014.

The victims were all children when they were first targeted.

Mitchell, 67, of Cardigan Road, Hylton Castle, has serious health problems, appeared in the dock at Newcastle Crown court wearing an oxygen mask.

Despite his state, Mr Recorder Jamie Hill QC warned that prison is inevitable when Mitchell is sentenced in September.

The judge told him: “I am sure you will have been advised of this, but you should prepare yourself for a custodial sentence.

“The fact I am seeking a probation service report and there is to be consideration of medical evidence, should not give you any false impression. It will be an assistance in determination of length of sentence.

“I grant you bail in the meantime. For someone with your state of health there might have to be some special preparations put in place.

“You should be under no illusion as to the outcome of this case.”

Mitchell had been due to stand trial but entered his guilty pleas before a jury was sworn in.

His victims had been at court, prepared to give evidence against him, and were in the public gallery when he admitted his guilt.

Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said there will be victim impact statements before the court at the next hearing.

Andrew Walker, defending, said a medical report has been compiled in relation to Mitchell’s state of health.