A PERVERT who targeted victims in South Tyneside as part of a terrifying one-day spree of attacks on lone women and girls has been jailed for four years.
Carl Todner appeared to be a happy, working dad who had a long term partner and bright future.
But, Newcastle Crown Court heard, when his relationship broke down, he secretly stalked the streets in his silver car, preying on women and girls for sexual gratification.
When the 27-year-old was caught by detectives, his mobile phone records showed he had also been posing as an underage girl on the internet to con teens into engaging in illegal sex chat and had a stash of indecent images of youngsters. He said he had turned to viewing pornography on the internet, after smoking cannabis when he split from his girlfriend.
The court heard last November Todner had received just a caution from police after being caught performing a sex act while sitting in his car in a busy shopping area in Newcastle.
Within months of the ticking off, he embarked on the terrifying sex crime spree in March, attacking women and girls as they walked the streets of Jarrow and Sunderland and Jarrow, on their own.
The youngest victim he targeted was just 11.
Judge Deborah Sherwin said Todner must sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for the rest of his life.
The judge said: “Some of the assaults took place late at night or the very early hours of the morning, at a time when the victims were truly on their own.
“You got in your car and drove around, looking for females.
“It would appear there were no clues you could act like this.
“Things fell apart following separation from your partner, and went downhill.
“It is impossible to say how all these acts can be blamed on the smoking of cannabis.
“These are worrying offences you have admitted.”
The court heard a total of five women and girls were physically attacked, the rest were approached and propositioned while Todner exposed himself to them.
Julian Smith, prosecuting, told the court the first victim was targeted on March 9 as she walked home after a night out in Jarrow, and was walking over a footbridge from the Scotch Estate to Low Simonside.
The woman was grabbed from behind and sexually assaulted after being pinned to the ground.
The court heard on March 23 Todner preyed on a total of eight women, including a teenage dog- walker, who was attacked as she made her way to a park.
On March 25, Todner attacked a 14-year-old girl in Jarrow.
Again, she was grabbed from behind and thrown to the floor.
Todner was arrested after police used CCTV from a bus passing an area where he had made one of his approaches – this enabled them to identify his car.
He pleaded guilty to sexual assault, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, indecent exposure as well as making, distributing and possessing indecent photographs of children.
Tom Moran, defending, said: “The court sees these cases only rarely, happily, where complete strangers are approached.
“One of the troubling features of the case is that there was not the slightest clue he was someone capable of this sort of thing.
“Until this point, he was in his mid-20s, had a partner and child, had a well-paid job and everything seemed set for a relatively normal life.”
The court heard Todner, of Elgin Avenue, Seaham, County Durham, has now embarked on addressing his problems.