A 61-year-old Hartlepool man has been jailed for sexual offences involving children.
One particularly vulnerable youngster bravely confided in a third party in June 2021 and the matter was immediately reported to police.
Officers from CAVA (Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adults) ensured the child and their wider family was safeguarded and offered support while enquiries continued.
Another young victim was soon identified and Alan Craigs was questioned regarding the allegations the following month.
With local agencies providing input to the investigation and the families being kept updated throughout, Craigs was charged early last summer with five counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 years and one count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child under 13.
Today at Teesside Crown Court, Craigs was jailed for five years and five months.
He will be subject to a SHPO (sexual harm prevention order) on release and will face strict conditions and restrictions which will be monitored.
CAVA Detective Chief Inspector Matt Murphy-King said: “Craigs initially did all he could to cover his tracks, denying what he had done.
“Our protracted enquiries then expanded to include a further victim and eventually Craigs had no option but to plead guilty.
“I hope today’s sentence provides a degree of comfort to the youngsters and their families who have been deeply affected by what he did.”
He added: “Anyone who believes they can seek gratification from abusing vulnerable children and young people must be identified and dealt with; my officers share a determination to do this and they’re committed to achieving the best possible justice for all survivors of abuse.”
You can report abuse of any kind to Cleveland Police at any time: online via the force website or by phoning 101.