A pervert who groomed a young victim with money and alcohol so that she would keep their “little secret” has been jailed.
George Gray had been abusing the youngster for about a year and half when she plucked up the courage to tell the police what had been happening.
Newcastle Crown Court was told the 68-year-old, of Redhill Road, Hylton Red House, took advantage of his victim.
He was found guilty of 11 counts involving the young girl, which included 10 of sexual activity with a child and one of sexual activity in the presence of child, after a trial.
The retired vehicle valet was also convicted of one count of attempted sexual assault relating to a single incident involving a young boy.
The court heard that during his campaign of abuse, Gray would “touch her inappropriately” whenever they were alone.
As well as betraying your victims, you have betrayed your family as a whole.Judge Tim Gittins
Judge Tim Gittins said: “It is right to say that she asked you to desist.
“However you did not.
“You tried to persuade her that it was your little secret and groomed her using alcohol and money.”
The court heard Gray continues to deny the offences.
Tony Cornberg, defending, said: “This is a man of previous good character, who has not been in trouble for 50 years, after leaving borstal education.
“He has been married to his wife for 46 years and has worked most of his life.
“He was a vehicle valet for 16 years before recently retiring.”
He added: “He has huge difficulty walking because of arthritis in both of his legs.
“He has been unable to contact his family whilst in custody and has been unable to sleep at night for worrying about his wife.
“He says that if anything was to happen to her while he was in custody then that would be the end for him.”
Jailing Gray for nine years, Judge Gittins told him: “You knew she was a vulnerable young girl and you took advantage.”
Gray was also made to sign the sex offenders register for life and to obey as sexual harm prevention order upon his release.
The conditions of this included having no unsupervised contact with children under 16.