A shamed former councillor has been jailed for more than 15 years after he was exposed as a "prolific paedophile".
For decades, Thomas Wright had been an upstanding member of the community, serving on Sunderland Council and as chairman of the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority.
But he was hiding a terrible secret from his younger years, when he subjected four children to horrific abuse.
Now the 67-year-old has finally been brought to justice for his sexual offending, which took place between the 1960s and 1980s.
As he was sentenced, Newcastle Crown Court heard one of his victims revealed his ordeal at the time but although Wright was spoken to by the authorities, no action was taken against him.
Judge Stephen Earl, who jailed Wright for 15 years and four months, with lifelong sex offender registration and a sexual harm prevention order, said society has to bear some "shame" for the way victims of abuse were treated in the past and added: "Mr Wright, on his own admissions, was interviewed."