David Bryant sentenced for historic sexual abductions

27/03/2012

A man who kidnapped four young girls, in crimes dating back 30 years, has today been sentenced to 17 years at Newcastle Crown Court.

David Edward Bryant, 66, of Ulverston, Cumbria, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to kidnapping and indecently assaulting children from Hampshire in the 1980s and from Newcastle in the 1990s.

The first child abducted by Bryant in the North East, was a 5 year old girl, taken from a street in the Blakelaw area in May 1995 and found in Darlington a few hours later.

The second incident happened in the west end of Newcastle in September the same year when a 4 year old was also snatched off the street. She was also found in the Darlington area the following day.

Both girls had been indecently assaulted.

In August 1982, Bryant took a five-year-old girl from the Gosport area of Hampshire and indecently assaulted her.

He also abducted and indecently assaulted a three-year-old girl in Southampton in May 1983.

Bryant pleaded guilty to all eight counts and was given 6 years each for two counts of sexual assault and 3 years each for two further counts of sexual assault, to run concurrently with each other. In relation to the kidnappings he was sentenced to seven years each for two counts of kidnapping and 11 years each on a further two counts, again to run concurrently with each other. The sentences for the kidnapping and sexual assault charges will run consecutively, totalling 17 years.

The successful prosecution against Bryant was brought by CPS North East, who worked closely with Northumbria Police during the investigation.

Gerry Sydenham, Head of the Crown Court Unit at CPS North East, said: "While the impact of Bryant's despicable actions caused untold distress and harm to his young victims, the impact of those crimes went much further.

"Through his actions, Bryant created fear and distrust in an area where, prior to his crimes, parents could feel confident that their children played in safety.

"Despite the damage he caused, Bryant has shown little remorse for his actions. After being presented with overwhelming DNA evidence as early as May last year, Bryant denied his guilt until February of this year. This effectively prolonged the anxiety and suffering for his victims, their families and the wider community.

"I hope that this sentence helps provide some sense of closure for all of those affected by this mans selfish and deplorable crimes."

DCI Steve Binks of Northumbria Police said: "For 30 years, Bryant left these victims and their families traumatised by his despicable actions and has shown absolutely no remorse. I can't praise the families and victims enough for their support and strength through this long and traumatic ordeal.

"Our officers and our colleagues in Hampshire Police worked tirelessly to get this man behind bars and today we welcome the fact justice has finally been done.

"Our investigation led us to presenting evidence to Bryant, including a positive DNA match, which left him unable to deny his heinous crimes any longer.

"I hope it brings solace and reassurance to others that no unresolved case is closed. We continue to investigate historic cases and with advances in science and technology we can bring justice for victims, sometimes many years after crimes were committed."