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Gateshead man sexually abused child after creating fake social account | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Colin Routledge, 78, has been jailed for sexually abusing a young girl (Picture: NNP / PA)

A twisted paedophile created a bogus social media profile to contact a young girl – and then sexually assaulted her on several occasions.

It was one of many sickening ploys by Colin Routledge to get closer to his child victim before subjecting her to shocking abuse.

The 78-year-old predator also gave the youngster money and gifts before he carried out what police described as ‘harrowing crimes’.

His victim bravely came forward years after Routledge sexually assaulted her and her family reported him to Northumbria Police.

Officers immediately launched an investigation and later arrested Routledge before charging him with four counts of sexual assault. 

He denied the offences but was convicted following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Routledge, of Laburnum Gardens, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, was jailed for nine years last Friday.

Paedophile Routledge was sentenced to nine years in prison (Picture: NNP / PA)

He will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life and was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and restraining order.

The family of the victim have personally thanked officers for their hard work on the case.

Following Routledge’s sentencing, PC Kevin Thompson, of Northumbria Police, said: ‘First and foremost I would like to praise the victim and their family for their immense bravery in taking that first step to come forward and report these harrowing crimes.

‘Their actions have been vital in helping us to secure a conviction against this offender.

‘We hope now that the outcome provides them with some degree of closure.’

The trial was held at Newcastle Crown Court (Picture: PA)

PC Thompson added: ‘We hope this case serves as a reminder to all victims of sexual assault that we will always listen and that you will be believed.

‘It also reinforces our commitment as a Force to bringing those who carry out these vile attacks to justice.

‘No-one under any circumstances whatsoever should be subjected to attacks such as the ones suffered by the victim.

‘If you have been a victim of such an attack, I would urge you to come forward to police.’

Earlier this year, a man who posed as a model scout online admitted sex offences against 45 children.

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