South Shields chef jailed for 14 years after sickening sex attacks on boy
A chef who carried out sickening sex attacks on a boy has been put behind bars.
James Clark showered his victim with expensive treats in a bid to try to ensure his silence.
Newcastle Crown Court heard it was years later that the victim found the courage to speak out about what had been done to him.
Clark, of Stoddart Street, South Shields, initially denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations were "lies".
But on the day he was due to be tried by a jury the 39-year-old pleaded guilty to three charges of oral rape, three of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of sexual activity with a child.
The victim, who is now an adult, said in an impact statement: "James Clark has, without doubt, ruined my life."
Judge Robert Adams sentenced Clark to 14 years and four months behind bars.Clark must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for life.
The judge said the offences were "appalling abuse of a child who was vulnerable".
The court heard Clark has a conviction for engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
Elizabeth Muir, defending, said Clark sought counselling to deal with his problems and has had mental health issues.
Miss Muir said "it is right this defendant's behaviour as utterly abhorrent" but she added: "He describes himself as a different person back then."
Miss Muir said Clark became a target for "unknown individuals" after the details of his offending were posted on social media by a vigilante group.