A MUM has told of the horrifying moment she learned that her son had been targeted by a paedophile.

Ian Gregory was last week jailed for more than two years after admitting a string of sex charges against a young boy.

The mother of his victim said she “felt sick” when her son told her about the abuse.

The mum said: “My son told me: ‘He’s been doing things to me’. I just felt sick when he told me.”

Gregory, of Fellside Terrace, Stanley, near Gateshead, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault of a child, two of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one of causing a child to watch sexual images, and 14 counts of possession of prohibited images.

The abuse of the child, who was described as “vulnerable” in court, happened while Gregory was living in Basingstoke.

At Winchester Crown Court, Adrienne Knight, defending, said the 46-year-old had begun accessing indecent images of children online after he left the army five years ago, following an “exemplary” 12-year career.

She added the defendant had discovered he had an attraction to young boys after looking at images on the internet.

“Mr Gregory says: ‘I don’t like myself for the way I feel. I didn’t ask to be born like this’,” she said.

“It’s criminal and it’s awful but he can’t help the way he was born. He wants to come out of this a better man.”

Barnaby Shaw, prosecuting, said the offences have had a devastating effect on the victim and his mother, who have since had to move away from the area.

Speaking about the young victim, he said: “He has difficulty sleeping and has been having nightmares, screaming out.”

Mr Shaw said Gregory had not admitted to the sexual assault before the police found a video on his phone.

Sentencing Gregory to 25 months in prison, Judge Guy Boney said: “You are a man of good character who had an exemplary army record for 12 years and you stand there at the moment covered, rightly, in shame for the offences you committed.”

As well as jailing Gregory, the judge imposed a sexual offences prevention order and ordered that Gregory should be put on the sex offenders register for seven years.