A former Labour councillor who carried out a string of sexual assaults on children has been jailed.
Thomas Wright abused four children aged between four and 15 between 1968 and 1982, two of them while volunteering with the Sunderland Sea Cadets.
The 67-year-old, of First Street, Consett, admitted eight historical sexual offences at an earlier hearing at Newcastle Crown Court.
He has been sentenced to 15 years and four months in prison.
Wright, who was a Labour councillor for 18 years and also served as chairman of the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority, pleaded guilty to five cases of indecent assault and three counts of sexual assault.
The court was told that under the current law some of the offences would be classed as rape, but the judge had to sentence him for the offence as it would have been categorised at the time.
The judge also ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Det Con Julie Wyness, of Northumbria Police, praised the victims for their “incredible bravery”.
“They have all carried this burden with them for decades knowing they were subjected to appalling and abhorrent abuse,” she said.
“In his role with the Sea Cadets Wright was in a position of trust – and he selfishly abused that trust for his own sexual gratification.
“His behaviour has caused a huge amount of hurt, distress and anguish to so many people.”
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