Sick trainspotter jailed for carrying out sex attacks on boys

A sick trainspotter has been put behind bars for historic sex attacks on two boys.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 2:45 pm
Steven Gustafson.

Steven Gustafson, who was already a convicted paedophile, preyed on two teens who he met in the 1980s.

He carried out sickening, separate attacks on the victims after appearing to befriend them.

At Newcastle Crown Court Judge Penny Moreland said Gustafson, now 64, of Gordon Street, South Shields, is an "inveterate abuser of boys" and jailed him for four-and-a-half years.

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PC David Gibson, who led the investigation received a Commander's Compliment from the highest-ranking officer in Sunderland and South Tyneside, Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, as a result of his efforts on this case.

Gustafson must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for life.

Judge Moreland told him: "As a result of your offending they suffered severe psychological harm."

The court heard when Gustafson carried out the attacks he had already been in court on five occasions for similar offences and served a three-year prison sentence in 1978.

Prosecutor Jane Waugh told the court: "He was an avid transpotter in the 1980s and would hang around Newcastle Central Station looking at and travelling on trains."

It was not until 1999 that one of his victims bravely disclosed what Gustafson had done to him – but the case collapsed in court due to evidential difficulties.

However, after a second boy came forward in 2017 confirming Gustafson had abused him as a child, a fresh investigation was launched – and the historic case also reopened.

Gustafson pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault on a child in relation to the two boys.

Peter Schofield, defending, said Gustafson voluntarily participated in a sex offender treatment programme in prison and has expressed remorse for his behaviour.

PC David Gibson, who led the historic investigation, received a Commander's Compliment from the highest-ranking officer in Sunderland and SouthTyneside, Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt as a result of his efforts to see justice for the two victims after three decades.

PC Gibson, of Northumbria Police, said: “This is a significant moment for both victims after their wait for justice.

“They showed immense bravery by coming forward and disclosing what Gustafson had subjected them to when they were teenagers.

“Both men should be incredibly proud of themselves – it is their strength and resolve that has made this outcome possible and I sincerely hope it brings themsome comfort after such a long time.

“I also hope this sends out a strong message to any other victims of sexual offences. Regardless of how long ago the offence took place, we are committedto doing everything we can to bring perpetrators to justice.

“For many years, Gustafson lived with this dark secret believing he was above the law. He has been proven wrong – and now must deal with the consequences of his abhorrent actions.”

Chief Supt Pitt said: “The bravery shown by both victims to come forward and talk about what happened to them is absolutely amazing. They thoroughly deserve this moment, seeing their attacker brought to justice for his appalling crimes.

“PC Gibson’s achievements in securing this result cannot be understated. Any officer who takes on a job like this often feels a personal responsibility to deliver the right outcome for the victims, and repay the trust that they have put in you.

“There is no question that PC Gibson richly deserves this Commander’s Compliment and he should be incredibly proud of himself.”