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“Monstrous” Topcliffe man jailed for nine years for non-recent child abuse offences

Last modified: 9 June 2021 at 03:45pm

Custody photo of Robert Evan Mason
Robert Evan Mason

An 80-year-old man from Topcliffe, near Thirsk, has been sent to prison for nine years for non-recent child abuse offences against two girls.

Robert Evan Mason, of Swale View, was found guilty of seven offences – six counts of indecent assault on children and one count of committing an act of gross indecency with a child – at York Crown Court on Tuesday (8 June 2021).

He was sentenced immediately after the verdict. He was found not guilty of 10 other sexual assaults.

The court heard that Mason subjected two girls to years of sexual abuse during the 1970s and 1980s, beginning when one of them was just six years old.

Now aged in their 50s, the women bravely reported Mason’s offending to North Yorkshire Police in January 2020.

Detective Constable Karen Barugh, who led the investigation, said: “This case has been incredibly traumatic for all involved. Mason’s victims showed great bravery and strength in coming forward to report his offences to the police so many years after they occurred.

“Mason showed no remorse during the investigation and in court the Judge highlighted the fact he had shown no courage to admit the offences he had committed.

“Mason groomed his victims and they feared his threatening and violent nature. He was monstrous towards them and his actions have had a huge impact on their lives to this day.

“I would like to once again praise the immense bravery of these women for reporting the abuse Mason inflicted on them and ensuring he has been held accountable for his deplorable behaviour.

“I hope this sentence and the conclusion at court can bring some closure to the victims as they move on with their lives.”

Seeking further support, advice and ways of reporting child abuse

If you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, no matter when it occurred, you may not yet have reported what happened to you.

There may be several reasons for this, and to take this step may be painful for you and require courage. You may, or may not, be ready to take this step now.

Please remember, it is never too late to make a report or to seek the professional help and support that is readily available to victims.

Here are the best options you can take to report child sexual abuse:

North Yorkshire Police

Call us on 101 if you have been a victim of abuse.

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, always dial 999 for an emergency response.

NSPCC Helplines:

  • Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000. Adult victims of non-recent sexual abuse can also get in touch for support.
  • Childline is available for young people on 0800 1111 or at childline.org.uk

North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership – www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk

City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership (CYSCP) – www.saferchildrenyork.org.uk

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

Victims who would prefer not to go direct to the police and are not in immediate danger, can contact   Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), on 0330 223 0362, email bridgehouse.sarc@nhs.net or go to www.bridgehousesarc.org/

You can also contact the Supporting Victims Unit direct at www.supportingvictims.org or call 01609 643100.

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