Sex predator admits 'appalling' historic attacks on boys more than three decades on
A sexual predator has been brought to justice more than 30 years after he carried out ‘abhorrent’ attacks on teenage boys.
Steven Gustafson, of Gordon Road in South Shields, admitted five counts of sexual assault dating back to the 1980s when he groomed and sexually assaulted two teenage boys.
The 63-year-old committed the appalling acts in Newcastle and Sunderland after befriending the boys.
In 1999 one of his victims bravely disclosed what Gustafson had done to them – but the case collapsed due to evidential difficulties.
However, after a second victim came forward in 2017, a fresh investigation was launched and the historic case reopened.
Now, after new evidence came to light, Gustafson pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault on a child at Newcastle Crown Court.
He has been remanded in custody ahead of sentence later this year.
Pc David Gibson, who led the investigation, praised the victims for their “amazing bravery”.
“They should be incredibly proud of themselves and this conviction simply would not have been possible without their courage and determination,” he added.
“It was absolutely imperative that the person responsible for committing these abhorrent crimes against two teenage boys was brought to justice.
“I sincerely hope this outcome can offer some comfort to both – as well as send out a strong message to other victims of sexual offences.
“Regardless of how long ago the offence took place, we will do everything we can to bring perpetrators to justice.
"Gustafson lived with this dark secret for many years believing he was above the law and was not going to be caught.
"Now, he must deal with the consequences of his appalling actions.”
Detective Chief Inspector Sean Mcguigan praised Pc Gibson for his “amazing work ethic and determination” which has led to a dangerous sexual predator being taken off the streets.
Det Chief Insp Mcguigan said: “On cases like this, it is only natural for any officer in charge to feel a sense of personal responsibility to try to get the right result for his victims, in order to reward their bravery and the trust they have instilled in them.
“I am therefore absolutely delighted that Gustafson has been brought to justice, and I have no doubt that this conviction would not have been possible without Pc Gibson’s outstanding contribution.”