Sherburn child abuser jailed

Sherburn child abuser Wayne O'Donnell who has been jailed for 18 years. (S)
Sherburn child abuser Wayne O'Donnell who has been jailed for 18 years. (S)

A Sherburn man who abused two young girls has been jailed for 18 years.

Wayne O’Donnell, 55, of Pinfold Avenue, was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court on Wednesday, August 20.

He was found guilty on four counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault, seven counts of taking indecent images of a child, and one count of possessing an indecent image of a child.

The offences took place between 2005 and 2012, against two girls who were primary school age when the abuse began.

O’Donnell’s control over his victims was such that one of them gave evidence on his behalf, claiming that the abuse she suffered was committed by someone else.

The jury rejected this claim and convicted O’Donnell of his offences against her.

Det Con John Atkinson, of the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit in York, led the investigation.

He said: “I must pay tribute to O’Donnell’s victim who, after enduring years of sexual abuse, was brave enough not only to come forward and tell the police about it, but to then stand up and face him in court and give evidence.

“I would also like to thank the victim’s extended family who have supported her through this long process and hoped O’Donnell would be seen for the devious and highly dangerous offender that he is.

“The fact he managed to persuade another girl to give evidence on his behalf, shows how manipulative O’Donnell truly is.

“The full extent of his heinous crimes was recognised by His Lordship Mr Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough who presided over the trial and sentenced him to 18 years.

“I hope his victims are now able to start rebuilding their lives.”

DC Atkinson added: “This sentence shows that even if abuse took place years before the victim reports it, those responsible can be brought to justice for their offences.

“If you have been a victim of abuse there is no need to suffer in silence. Come forward and let us help you.”

Anyone who is affected by sexual abuse, whether it is happening now, or occurred many years ago, should not hesitate to come forward to the police or contact one of the many agencies who can help.

If you do not want to talk to the police, you can contact Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) directly on 01904 669339