A former Tory councilor has been found guilty of a series of historic crimes against child sexual abuse.
A jury unanimously found David Smith guilty of 11 charges of inciting or sexual activity with a child more than a decade ago.
Teesside Crown Court heard poignant evidence of the sexual abuse at trial – the two victims were teenage boys when Smith pointed it at them.
The allegations only came to light in 2016 when the first victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, collapsed and told his mother and girlfriend.
David Smith, 33, was unanimously found guilty of 11 counts of incitement or sexual activity with a child over a decade ago
The boy said in a police questioning how the impact of alleged abuse had a lasting effect on his life.
He told the officers: ‘It gradually got more and more, until he basically harassed me.
“But gradually I thought ‘this is wrong’, I knew then that he shouldn’t do that, but I didn’t say anything because I was ashamed.”
He was cared for and sexually assaulted repeatedly by Smith over a four-year period. The court heard that he was greatly affected by the abuse; his ex-girlfriend said it “destroyed their relationship” and that he was “traumatized” by what had happened to him.
The court heard Smith handing the boy cash and buying him gifts; as well as taking him on trips to Edinburgh and to Liverpool.
The victim said: ‘He bought me all sorts – he must have easily spent £6,000 to £10,000 on me.
“It was clothes, it was drugs, I smoked a lot of cannabis and he bought it for me. He bought it for me every day, at least £20 a day.
“After I smoked it, I just went to sleep and when I woke up, he would touch me.”
Teesside Crown Court heard harrowing evidence of sexual abuse at trial
Due to a number of delays, including moving the trial due to the Covid pandemic, Smith eventually had to face his accusers in court.
He repeatedly exposed himself to the second victim — who was also a teenager at the time — before trying to coax him into a sexual act.
The victim said he had fled and told the court: ‘He would flash me and as a child I was shocked and didn’t know where to put myself.
“After a month and a half it went from a flash to me to him asking me to touch him. It got to the point where he got closer to me and got more and more insistent when he found he got away with it.”
The 33-year-old, who resigned as Middlesbrough councilor after being charged with the offences, denied the charges at his trial.
Smith, of Rainsford Crescent in Middlesbrough, was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on May 16.