Sex offender who abused boys sent back to prison for molesting schoolgirl
A serial sex offender who abused a string of children is behind bars again for molesting a young girl.
Paul Thomas, 27, already has a five-year jail term to his name – along with a lifetime ban on taking youngsters on fishing expeditions – for sexually abusing three boys.
Now he is starting a second long prison sentence after a fourth victim came forward, this time a girl.
Thomas repeatedly touched the underage schoolgirl, significantly younger than him, several years ago when he living in Thornaby.
It came to light after the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told her mother how Thomas made her touch him and tried to force her to have sex with him.
Her father reported it to the police and Thomas was arrested, Teesside Crown Court was told by prosecutor Richard Bennett.
The girl revealed her ordeal to her mother after learning of Thomas’ 2013 conviction for sex offences.
He abused three boys around the same time as he assaulted the girl.
He incited one boy to take indecent photographs of an even younger girl, threatening to kill himself if the boy refused.
He used similar pressure to incite the boy to rape the girl and a younger boy, but the boy resisted.
Thomas was jailed for five years in May 2013 for 11 offences of sexual assault and inciting and causing a child to engage in sexual conduct.
Sentencing him, Judge Peter Bowers said Thomas targeted, manipulated and isolated vulnerable and impressionable boys.
Thomas was put on the sex offenders’ register for life.
When interviewed about the latest allegations by the girl, he claimed she was lying because she had seen things about him on the internet.
Despite his convictions for child sex offences, he denied being sexually attracted to children.
Thomas, of Myrtle Street, central Middlesbrough, later admitted four charges of sexual assault.
Robert Mochrie, defending, said Thomas did not backtrack on his guilty pleas, was candid with a probation officer and showed remorse.
He said: “He’s done his best to move away from the person he was all those years ago.
“You’re dealing with a man who has worked well with probation following his release on licence.
“This offending is somewhat dated. He has developed and matured as a person.
“If he is to go back to prison, hit the reset button and go through it all again, there’s a very real risk that all that hard work might be lost.
“It’s for that reason that I would urge you to consider, exceptionally, suspending the sentence today.”
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told Thomas: “Over a prolonged period you abused a number of children, three boys and a girl.”
He jailed Thomas for three years for the sexual assaults on the girl and gave him an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.
A charge of attempted rape was left to lie on the court file.