May 2012

Victim hits out over Washington sex fiend’s jail term

ROBBED of her childhood, the victim of sex attacker Norman Charles Houghton has today slammed his sentence.

Houghton’s victim, who was a schoolgirl when he indecently assaulted her in the 1990s, said his sentence is nothing compared to what he put her through.

“I felt he should have got longer. He is going to spend at most 13 months in jail, it is nothing for what he did to me,” said his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Houghton of Horsley Road, Barmston, Washington, was jailed for three years after a jury at Newcastle Crown Court convicted him for five offences of indecent assault.

The 32-year-old had denied indecently assaulting the schoolgirl in the 1990s.

But Houghton, who was aged between 16 and 18 when he carried out the attacks, was convicted after a trial, during which his victim gave evidence against him.

His victim, who is now in her 20s, said it was difficult to relive her ordeal in court.

“I had to try and stay calm which I found hard. But I got through it as best I could,” she said. “I still do not feel like the sentence was enough.

“I am trying to look to the future, things are not easy but I will get there in the end.

“I do not want this happening to anyone else. I am now just relieved the court case is over but he should have got longer behind bars for what he did.”

Judge Paul Sloan told Houghton: “You were still a teenager and I have had particular regard to your age. The most serious offence was committed when you were 16.

“You were immature at the time you committed these offences.”

The court heard Houghton has not been in any further trouble since the attacks and that his mother had died just a few years before his offending began.

Houghton was described as living a life of “social isolation and loneliness” and is not considered to be a risk in future.

The court heard he has an IQ of just 72 and has learning difficulties. Judge Sloan told him: “It is perfectly clear a sentence of imprisonment will be particularly difficult for you because of your limitations.”

Houghton has been disqualified from working with children and must sign the sex offenders register for life.