Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sex Offernder;77 'Stilll Risk to Kinds

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sex Offernder;77 'Stilll Risk to Kinds

Article excerpt

Byline: Gareth Lightfoot

A SEX offender who abused two boys has been detained indefinitely in hospital.

David Massingham, 77, who has dementia, molested two boys more than 30 years ago. After months of delay, he finally learned his fate as a judge said he was still a risk to children. He was detained under the Mental Health Act. He was also given a restriction order, which means he cannot be released without the agreement of the Secretary of State for Justice.

The pensioner was brought to justice after the abuse was reported when the victims were adults.

One of the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Massingham had completely destroyed his and his family's lives.

He told in a statement how Massingham targeted and groomed him with treats. He said the abuse would affect him for the rest of his life.

Massingham denied any wrongdoing and was deemed unfit to stand trial at Teesside Crown Court because of his dementia.

The case was still heard by a jury in an unusual hearing in February.

Jurors decided he committed the acts alleged in 12 charges - 10 of indecent assault and two other serious sexual offences.

"The question is, what do we do with you?" said Judge George Moorhouse yesterday.

"The court has to ensure protection of other young boys and children in the community." He heard from three psychiatrists who gave varying recommendations for sentence.

Dr Pratish Thakkar recommended a hospital order and restriction order, saying Massingham was "in denial" about the sexual acts.

Dr Christopher Green recommended a hospital order without a restriction order.

Dr James Stoddart thought Massingham could be treated in the community, but admitted he had not carried out a risk assessment.

The court heard of allegations that Massingham had more recently had contact with children. …

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