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Sunday, 31 August 2014

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Ulverston paedophile’s assaults devastated communities

A PAEDOPHILE who snatched four little girls from the street before sexually abusing and dumping them has been jailed for 16 years.

Grandfather David Bryant, 65, from Baycliff, near Ulverston, felt “a sense of grievance” after being caught so long after the offences, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

He was sentenced for four terrifying attacks on victims in Hampshire and Tyneside in the 1980s and 1990s.

He admitted kidnap and sexual assault after cold-case detectives made a DNA link to catch him 30 years after he first struck.

Judge James Goss, the Recorder of Newcastle, said: “All your victims were very young girls aged five or under.

“In each case you approached your victim near to where you were working at the time, took them to a place of privacy where you sexually assaulted them.”

Bryant’s offending against young girls was terrifying and became more serious as he continued to evade capture, with the mother of his final victim believing her daughter was dead as she had been missing for 17 hours.

In the first case in the early 1980s, he grabbed a girl aged five who was playing outside her Hampshire home from under the nose of her mother.

Moments later, a couple reported they had found her and a man had run away.

He had taken her to a derelict house and committed a sex act over the child, leaving DNA evidence on her, which would prove useful decades later.

Judge Goss told Bryant: “She became clingy, introverted, still lacks confidence and has received counselling.”

The following year a three-year-old was snatched as she played with other children in Southampton.

Speaking as an adult, she said: “When I hear an ice cream van playing its music, I am left with chills all over my body. I am left remembering what happened to me at a very young age.”

Bryant had fantasised about “young girls” since he was a teenager, he told a psychiatrist.

The guilt he felt after the first offence had worn off by the time he abducted and abused a second girl, the judge said.

He preyed on a five-year-old girl who was playing outside her home in Newcastle before dumping her in Darlington, County Durham, three hours later.

Later that year a four-year-old from Newcastle’s west end was abducted as she walked 30 yards to a friend’s house.

The judge said Bryant felt a “sense of grievance” at being caught as he felt he had “got away with it for so long”.

Bryant will have to serve at least two thirds of his sentence before he is released.

Bryant admitted being tempted to snatch more girls since the 1990s offences, but told his probation officer he had managed to control the urge.

Police have not linked Bryant, who has convictions for sexually assaulting women, to any outstanding child abduction investigations.

Gerry Sydenham, head of the Crown Court Unit at CPS North East, said Bryant’s offending destroyed the trust of an entire community.

He said: “Mr Bryant was singularly unco-operative. He had no feeling for the victims or their families.

“His crimes devastated communities – particularly in the west end of Newcastle which was a focus for his offending.”

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