Four women who had their lives devastated by one man have now seen their abuser sentenced to 27 and a half years in prison.
Mark Sorby, 45, abused four young girls in a span lasting nearly a decade as his reign of terror has finally come to an end.
During a sentencing hearing at Teesside Crown Court today (Monday, July 18) the court heard during one harrowing incident where Sorby locked one victim inside a property and abused her in a cupboard before leaving her to bleed.
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The girl, who was giving evidence in court, said she was told to be quiet and the abuse would only stop when a knock on the door was heard.
Sorby, of Ettrick Walk, Hartlepool was convicted of 19 sex charges against children.
He was found guilty of assaulting a girl under 13 by touching, assaulting a girl under 13, incident assault on a girl under 14 and sexual assault on a female.
Prosecutor Shaun Dodds said one victim reported the abuse but was not believed and the victim, who was the first one to report the abuse, attended court and spoke of the impact the entire ordeal has had on her.
"The traumatic ordeal has impacted my whole life. I was made to feel worthless and the fact that nobody believed me made it even worse," the victim said in court.
"I have nightmares and don't trust anyone. I find it hard in my relationship because I fear something bad is going to happen. The fact I was stood in a court while he roamed free and smirked at me made me anxious. The fact I sat there and he called me a liar was awful – it made me feel numb inside.
"It wasn't until it happened to three other little girls that I was believed. I felt so guilty they had gone through the same thing. I'll never forgive my family for not believing me but I'm so glad I've helped myself and the other girls get justice. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted and no one deserves not to be believed."
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The father of another victim spoke about the impact Sorby's abuse has had on his daughter who he says is "totally different now from how she used to be".
"She has suffered really badly with anxiety over the last few years. She has mood swings because of everything that happened to her and sometimes just breaks down in tears," he said.
"She has started to self harm and I've had to take her to the doctor's because she has started abusing drugs. She never did anything like this before and I think this is a direct result of what Mark Sorby did. She continues to be distrustful of males and has withdrawn herself from family and friends."
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The court heard Sorby's abuse was not only physical, but mentally and emotionally, leaving long-standing scars in his victims due to his deplorable actions.
Judge Howard Crowson said: "You are quite obviously a predatory paedophile, you used your position of trust to take advantage of all four young girls.
"You are entirely to blame. Your offences were carefully carried out so that you would not bring suspicion on yourself."
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