Sex offender jailed for nearly 10 years for "callous" abuse of young girl in Whitby

A child sex offender has been jailed for over nine years for the “callous” abuse of a young girl in Whitby.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 9:38 am

Craig Middlemiss, 39, groomed and sexually assaulted the youngster on “numerous” occasions, York Crown Court heard.

The abuse had had a “catastrophic” effect on the young victim, York Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Chris Dunn said that Middlemiss - formerly of Whitby but lately of Scarborough - told the girl not to tell anyone about what he had done.

Craig Middlemiss.

The girl, who was “frightened”, kept quiet about it initially but eventually told a teacher at her school.

Middlemiss, who is a father, was arrested and charged with eight counts of sexual offences.

He ultimately admitted one count of sexual assaulting a girl under 13 years of age and a further count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Middlesmiss, of Clifton Street, Scarborough, appeared for sentence via video on Friday after being remanded in custody.

Mr Dunn said Middlemiss had sexually assaulted the youngster on at least three or four occasions over a prolonged period.

“(The girl) said she was scared to refuse what the defendant was forcing her to do because he might hurt her,” added Mr Dunn.

He had told her not to tell anybody and she kept quiet about it “for as long as she could” because she was scared.

He said that during the abuse, the victim “felt so trapped inside and anxious all the time”.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, started “withdrawing from her friends” and suffered acute anxiety.

“She was eventually put on some medication to help her sleep (because) she was feeling so down and sad,” added Mr Dunn.

Sean Smith, mitigating, said Middlemiss had never been in trouble before and was otherwise a hard-working family man.

He said that “while it’s not clear why on earth someone in those circumstances” would sexually abuse a young girl, Middlemiss appeared to have “lost control over significant aspects of his life, which may have led to him committing these types of offences”.

Recorder Bryan Cox QC branded Middlemiss’s offences “disgraceful” and “callous”.

There had been grooming of a “particularly vulnerable” girl and the effects on her had been “profound”.

Mr Cox said the abuse was “sustained and it reflected different types of sexual activity”.

He told Middlemiss: “It is clear that your conduct caused her very-considerable distress and it will continue to do so.

"You were principally interested in your sexual gratification.”

Middlesmiss was jailed for nine years and nine months and told he must serve two-thirds of that sentence behind bars.

He was also placed on the sex-offenders’ register for life and served with a sexual-harm prevention order, which will also be for an indefinite period.