Military man jailed for abusing girls

editorial image

A former military man has been jailed for 12 years for sexually abusing several under-age girls over a 20-year period.

Michael Herrington, 61, molested, taunted and mocked the girls after showering them with gifts and offering them alcohol and cigarettes.

The former Royal Artillery soldier (pictured), who served in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, abused the girls between 1996 and 2014, while living in Cayton Bay.

Prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi said Herrington had wooed some of the six victims by complementing them on their figures, but he cruelly mocked one girl for her bodily appearance.

She added that Herrington, a heavy drinker who was said to be drunk during each sexual assault, abused one girl once a fortnight at a property in Cayton after exploiting her vulnerability.

Another victim, who was also under-age, was molested by Herrington after he told her a wicked lie that her grandfather had died, adding: “Don’t worry, you are special to me. I’ll look after you.”

The girl reported the matters to the authorities in 2003 and 2005, but neither of these complaints was followed up.

A third victim, who was in her 20s, was sexually assaulted by Herrington in a bar after he offered to buy her a drink.

Herrington, a married father, was finally arrested nine years after the initial complaints were made, but initially denied the allegations during police questioning, claiming there was a “conspiracy” against him and that the girls were liars.

Ms Wadoodi said the victims had suffered from depression, nightmares and acute anxiety since the assaults.

Defence barrister Simon Reevell said Herrington - who was more recently living in Scarborough town - had a split personality resulting from 
his military service in Northern Ireland, where he had encountered “unimaginable” horrors.