A CHILD molesting pensioner is behind bars after his victim waged a poster campaign in a bid to get justice.
Thomas Dunlop was arrested in 2001 after a woman came forward to report he had sexually assaulted her in the 1980s.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Dunlop was questioned but denied the woman’s claims and no case was brought against him.
A decade later, the victim covered the streets near her abuser’s home in Hendon, Sunderland, with posters, publicly stating what he had done.
Dunlop, now 78, was re-arrested as a result and decided to “get off his chest” what he had done. He admitted charges of indecent assault and indecency with a child.
Prosecutor Jonathan Devlin told the court today: “Initially she made a complaint 11 years ago, although the offences date back to the mid-80s.
“The defendant was arrested and interviewed but denied any offending. No action was taken.
“During the summer last year the complainant took matters into her own hands.
“She began to put up posters that indicated what this defendant had done, in the area where he lived.”
The court heard the investigation was re-opened and Dunlop admitted his guilt.
Judge Les Spittle jailed him for three years.
The judge said: “You engaged in a course of conduct of appalling sexual assaults.
“The general public just can’t understand this sort of behaviour. You kept quiet and she suffered. She continued to suffer.
“So moved was she by this she had to take matters into her own hands and when she did that, effectively went public with her claim, at last you admitted your responsibility.
“Hopefully the fact you have at last admitted and accepted responsibility for what you did, that she has been believed, and that you will be punished, can perhaps be the first step towards rebuilding her life.”
Andrew Finlay, defending, said Dunlop understands his behaviour is unacceptable.
Dunlop, of Nelson Close, Hendon, told officials: “It is all my fault. This should never have happened. There is nothing to say. I’m ashamed of myself.”
Dunlop must register as a sex offender for life.