A PERVERT has been jailed for more than 20 years for a string of sexual offences against a child.

Philip Shield, 68, formerly of Haltwhistle, was found guilty of seven counts of buggery and one count of rape following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

He was also found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault on a male and one count of indecency with a child.

Shield appeared via video link from HMP Durham for his sentence hearing yesterday (May 11).

The court heard the offences took place over a 10-year span, from when the victim was five years old to the age of 15.

A statement written by the victim - who came forward to police in his mid-30's in 2018 - was read to the court by prosecutor Glenn Gatland.

The victim said he had battled with mental health issues due to the abuse and had twice tried to take his own life.

"I now struggle to form and maintain relationships with not only partners, but friends and family," he said.

The victim added he is not the man "he could have been".

"I do not feel safe and I do not know if I will ever feel safe," he said.

In 2010, Shield was jailed for six years for sexually abusing three other young boys. These offences related to incidents that occured both before and after the abuse of the man Shield was sentenced for yesterday.

Kate Barnes, mitigating, said there had been no fresh offending from Shield when he was released after serving his last sentence and said he had complied with his licence requirements.

Judge Julie Clemitson said Shield, now of Crocus Close, Blaydon, had sexually abused the victim "in the most abhorrent way".

She said: "No sentence that I impose today will undo all the harm that was done."

Judge Clemitson jailed Shield for a total of 21 years in prison plus another year on licence.

Shield was also served with a sexual harm prevention order and was handed a restraining order against his victim.