Former Sunderland Gogglebox star made to sign sex register after sexually assaulting a teenage boy

Credit: NCJ Media

A former Goggle Box television star who sexually assaulted a teenage boy has been jailed.

Andrew Bennett, who had previously appeared on the Channel 4 television show, carried out a series of offences one evening at the victim's home.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Bennett, of Gleneagles Road, Sunderland, had been drinking on the evening of the offences.

In a victim impact statement, the teenager described experiencing flashbacks in the wake of Bennett's assault.

He said: "The incident has affected me badly. I looked up to Andrew and was interested in what he did and I'm aware he was on Gogglebox a while ago.

"I felt frightened and very uncomfortable and didn't know what to do. He touched me and kissed my neck so much, he caused a bruised love bite on my neck."

The events left the victim need counselling.

The teen said: "I'm trying to be positive and move on, however I think this will take some time."

The court heard the victim rang his girlfriend in tears saying he didn't feel safe. He also told his mother and brother about the incident and the police were then informed.

Bennett initially denied allegations of sexual offence, but scientific evidence showed his saliva was on the victim's body.

The prosecution said Bennett blamed his behaviour on a slimming drug he had taken.

On 25 March, Bennett pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

The 47-year-old has been jailed for 29 months and given a five-year restraining order.

He will be subject to sex offender registration and a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.Gavin Doig, who was defending Bennett, said: "It may be of some solace to the victim that every word he said is accepted.

"The defendant could not be more remorseful for his actions. His good name has gone forever and he has lost his employment, which he valued highly."