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Man jailed for 11 years

Gary Mason has been jailed for 11 years Credit: Cleveland Police

A former school governor, fire officer and TA Captain has been jailed for 11 years

Gary Mason, 52, has also been banned from working with children and has been put on the sex offenders register for life. Teesside Crown Court heard Mason pinned the child down and subjected her to repeated assaults.

He denied nine charges of various sexual assaults and was found guilty of five.

DC Revis Phillips said: “Gary Mason had an unhealthy interest in this young girl and demonstrated his eagerness to fulfil his sexual appetite over a prolonged period.

“Thankfully he is now serving a substantial custodial sentence and hope the victim and family members can now move on from this dreadful period in their lives knowing that justice has been served.

"Cleveland Police consider all such matters seriously and will pursue any complaint of this nature. I hope this sends a strong warning to others who prey on the vulnerability of young victims."

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Woman admits iPad scam

A woman has admitted conducting a mass iPad scam worth almost £500,000.

Kirsty Cox, from Newton Ayciffe, County Durham, told customers she would be able to source cut-price machines in the run up to Christmas.

But, after taking payment, she was unable to complete the deal.

At Teesside Crown Court the 37-year-old pleaded guilty to four charges arising from the scam she had operated between March and December last year.

It was previously reported that she had taken payment for 4,000 of the tablet computers from individuals and groups.

£100k fine and costs after anchor death tragedy

A ship repair firm has been ordered to pay nearly £100,000 after a crane driver was crushed to death by a falling three-tonne anchor. Kevin Watson, from Redcar, Cleveland, died while working for A&P Tees at Middlesbrough Dry Dock in 2009.

The father-of-two was hooking an anchor with a chain when it fell on his chest, causing fatal injuries. A verdict of accidental death was recorded during his inquest a year ago.

Despite being a highly qualified crane driver, the 51-year-old was not qualified to deal with anchors and chains from ships, even though he regularly did so. At Teesside Crown Court yesterday (FRI), Judge John Walford ordered A&P Tees to pay a fine of £75,000 along with £23,500 costs.

Full report: Thief tries to kayak to France

A wanted burglar who was found trying to paddle to France in a kayak has been jailed at Teesside Crown Court.

Paul Redford was trying to leave England to start a new life abroad after a history of petty crimes.

Redford was wanted for thefts in County Durham and Northumberland when he had to be rescued during an audacious bid to cross the channel.

Jonny Blair reports.

Thief tries to kayak to France

A thief who was rescued by a lifeboat crew while trying to paddle to France in a kayak has been sentenced to nearly two and a half years in prison.

Paul Redford, 46, admitted thefts in Darlington, County Durham, Blyth and Northumberland, as well as a burglary in Kent.

His defence said he was leaving to start a new life abroad. Redford was given a sentence of two years and five months at Teesside Crown Court.

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Teen grooming case: Hartlepool man denies charges

Sean Clode. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The prosecution and defence have made their closing speeches in the trial of a man accused of grooming, abducting and having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Sean Clode from Hartlepool, denies the four charges against him. Teesside Crown Court heard the 21-year-old met the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, through an online game.

Mr Clode said he had no idea that she would travel from Scotland to Hartlepool.

They were found in a tent on sand dunes on Crimdon Dene after she went missing from home in May. The case continues.

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