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Man sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of sex assaults on child
01 Sep | 11:40

A victim who was sexually assaulted by a predatory paedophile has been praised by officers for coming forward after her attacker was given a nine-year prison sentence.

Colin Routledge gave money and gifts to his victim and also used a fake profile on social media to contact her.

The 78-year-old would later inappropriately touch the child on several occasions.

The victim bravely came forward years later and her family contacted police about the abuse Routledge subjected her to, with officers from Northumbria Police immediately beginning an investigation.

Routledge was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual assault.

He denied the offences but was convicted following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

At the same court on Friday, August 25, Routledge of Laburnum Gardens, Gateshead, was sentenced to nine years in prison.

He will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life and was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and a restraining order.

The family of the victim have personally thanked officers for their hard work on the case.

Following Routledge’s sentencing, PC Kevin Thompson of Northumbria Police, said: “First and foremost I would like to praise the victim and their family for their immense bravery in taking that first step to come forward and report these harrowing crimes.

“Their actions have been vital in helping us to secure a conviction against this offender.

“We hope now that the outcome provides them with some degree of closure.”

PC Thompson added: “We hope this case serves as a reminder to all victims of sexual assault that we will always listen and that you will be believed.

“It also reinforces our commitment as a Force to bringing those who carry out these vile attacks to justice.

“No-one under any circumstances whatsoever should be subjected to attacks such as the ones suffered by the victim.

“If you have been a victim of such an attack, I would urge you to come forward to police.”

Anyone who has been a victim of rape, sexual assault or abuse is asked to contact police on 101 or report via the "Tell Us Something" page of the Northumbria Police website.

Always call 999 in an emergency.

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