A 66-year-old Wearside man is facing the prospect of dying in prison after he was jailed for 20 years for the multiple rape and sexual assault of two children.
Thomas Allison systematically abused a girl and a boy, Teesside Crown Court heard.
In a heart-rending victim impact statement read to the court, the girl – now an adult – described how Allison had stolen her childhood and ruined her life.
“Every morning I wake up and for a split second things are all right,” she said. “Then it all comes back to me.
“Some days I cannot look in the mirror or leave the house. It wasn’t just one day what he did to me, he stole my life.”
The boy victim added: “I am angry, distrustful and I don’t like socialising.
“I’m sure he made me this way. I am wary of using a public toilet, and won’t do so if anyone else is in there.
“What he did to me was wrong, and it makes me feel sick.”
The court heard Allison raped the girl in his car and in other locations.
He took the boy to an empty house where he attempted to rape him.
Allison’s offences came to light years later when one of his victims confided in a friend.
Allison, of York Crescent, Hetton, denied all the offences alleged against him.
He was convicted by a jury after a trial lasting three weeks of four charges of rape, attempted rape, three charges of assault by penetration, and seven charges of sexual assault.
The jury acquitted him of 11 charges of sexual assault, allegedly against four other children.
Robin Denny, defending, said in mitigation: “I cannot go behind the jury’s verdicts.
“Mr Allison is not a well man, having been diagnosed with cancer. My understanding is that is currently under control.”
Jailing Allison for 20 years, Judge Stephen Ashurst told him: “To say you stole the childhoods of your victims is something of an understatement.
“What you did to them was vile and disgusting, it was wicked behaviour.”
Allison must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Detective Constable Chris Long, of Durham Police, said: “The victims have had to relive the traumatic events during the trial, and I hope today’s sentencing means they can move forward with their lives.”