Wearside sex attacker admitted he was "not a very nice person" when he indecently assaulted teenage girl
A sex attacker who has admitted he was "not a very nice person" when he targeted a teenager almost three decades ago has been put behind bars.
Norman Kirby sneaked into a room where the victim, who had been drinking, was sleeping during a party and indecently assaulted her.
The teen, who was left "sobbing and shaking" after she woke up to find Kirby attacking her, kept her ordeal a secret throughout her adult life.
Decades later, that she found the courage to report what had happened to her to the police and was in court to see Kirby put behind bars.
Kirby, of Wansbeck, Rickleton, Washington, admitted indecent assault on the day he was due to be tried for the offence.
Judge Tim Gittins sentenced the now 59-year-old to 21 months in jail and said he must sign the sex offenders register for ten years.
Judge Gittins praised the victim and said she had the strength to become not a "victim" but a "survivor" who ensured Kirby's past came back to "haunt" him.
The judge told Kirby: "It cannot be stated often enough that true victims will be believed and will be supported by the courts, whenever they complain.
"Ultimately and finally it has caught up with you."
Judge Gittins added: "There is no suggestion you were involved in deliberately arranging her intoxication but nonetheless you took advantage of her drunken state.
"You acknowledge you were, at that time, unpleasant, selfish and controlling and in particular, by your plea, you admit someone who had paedophile tendencies."
During the hearing, Kirby's victim read her impact statement from the witness box and bravely stared straight at the man who she said has impacted her entire adult life.
She said: "I feel every aspect of my life has been affected by what he did to me as a child."
The woman said Kirby's attack created a "blueprint" for her future and left her with difficulties building trust and relationships.
She added: "The experience significantly altered my life. It is not possible to explain in words the damage caused by this individual.
"This man's selfishness and what he did will stay with me for the rest of my life.
"I was young, vulnerable, powerless and he knew that.
"I can only hope he now finally realises the damage he has caused and justice is served and he is prevented from hurting any other children."
John Wilkinson, defending, handed more than a dozen character references to the court on behalf of Kirby, who "all speak highly of him".
Mr Wilkinson said: "He has been candid with the maker of the pre-sentence report when he describes himself as not a very nice person at that time.
"He has, without doubt when you read all of the references, moved on and become a completely different person."
Mr Wilkinson said Kirby has a history of mental health problems and added: "This defendant, at the age of 59, is never going to trouble the courts again."