Man who sexually abused 12-year-old girl jailed after taking overdoses to avoid justice
A sex offender who tried three times to take an overdose to avoid justice for abusing a 12-year-old girl has been jailed.
Paul John Geagan was sentenced after pleading guilty to sexually touching the girl at his flat, despite failing to show for previous court hearings.
One three occasions, police officers had to force entry to the 52-year-old's home in Harrogate after he failed to attend court, subsequently finding he had taken an overdose.
A judge at York Crown Court stated that Geagan had made the attempts to "avoid the inevitable trial".
Geagan abused the girl, who was aged 12 at the time, after inviting her to his flat to watch a film between October and November in 2015, when he subjected her to sexual assault by touching.
His crimes came to light two years later, when the victim bravely came forward.
Detectives investigating Geagan discovered 1,193 extreme pornographic images, including bestiality, in his possession, as well as GBL - a drug similar to GBH.
The defendant also pleaded guilty to possession of extreme pornography and possession of a Class C drug.
Detective Constable Fiona Saunderson, who led the investigation, said: “The victim was only 12 when she was abused by Paul Geagan. She felt unable to tell anyone for two years before finding the courage to tell a friend and her mum.
“The assault has had an enormous impact on her young life and left her frightened, depressed and suicidal.
“She showed incredible bravery at court when she read out her victim personal statement in person. The Judge referred to her statement as ‘harrowing’.
“Paul Geagan showed not one scrap of remorse and didn’t look up at all whilst she read her statement. He was on the video link and kept his eyes shut as if he was trying to sleep through it.”
DC Saunderson added: “It is also worth mentioning the history of the case. Geagan failed to appear on three separate occasions before each court hearing and police had to force entry to his home on each time to find he had taken an overdose. The Judge stated it was his judgement that he was trying to avoid the inevitable trial.
“It has been a long and difficult journey for the victim and her family, but hopefully they have finally been afforded some justice.”