A PERVERTED former school governor has been told he faces jail after being found guilty of a string of sex attacks on a girl.
Gary Mason had denied nine charges of sexual assault at Teesside Crown Court.
But the 52-year-old was found guilty of five of the offences after a three-day trial by a jury of six men and six women that took just three and half hours to come to their verdict.
Judge Howard Crowson told Mason, of Broad Landings, South Shields: “These sorts of offences usually merit custody. I don’t see any reason why not at the moment, I’m afraid.”
Mason, a former governor at High Tunstall College of Science in Hartlepool and civilian officer with Cleveland Fire Brigade, had been convicted of viewing child pornography from the internet at a previous trial.
The sexual abuse case came to light after police discovered the child porn images on his home computers.
His victim had told the court how Mason indecently touched her numerous times after overpowering her by pinning her down.
Mason said he had “never touched her”.
The court also heard Mason’s claims that he first stumbled across images of child abuse when he tried to download a Lord of the Rings film from a website.
He also said he watched a gruesome video of British kidnap victim Ken Bigley being beheaded up to 30 times as his depression was “spiralling”.
Mason, 52, is a former Army captain who served in Iraq for two years after Mr Bigley was kidnapped and murdered while working as an engineer in Baghdad in 2004.
Referring to some of the videos he watched, he told Teesside Crown Court: “I was viewing some really horrible things. I was looking at beheadings and terrorist atrocities and stuff going on in Baghdad.”
Mason told the court how he had served with the regular Army for 22 years from the age of 17, and then joined the fire brigade as a fire investigator and arson reduction officer.
In 2005 he joined the Territorial Army and was posted to Baghdad to help the Americans in the War on Terror until 2007.
Mason now drives a truck for a living following his conviction for child porn in February 2011.
He had been accused of six charges of sexual assault and three of assault by penetration.
He was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault and one of assault by penetration. The jury delivered ‘not guilty’ verdicts on the other counts.
Mason was granted bail while pre-sentence reports are prepared.
The case has been adjourned until January 10.