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Three South Tyneside women targeted in pervert’s sex-crime rampage

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A PERVERT driver targeted eight victims in just one day in a terrifying spree of sordid attacks on lone women and girls.

Three of Carl Todner’s victims were in South Tyneside as the apparently happy, working father with a long-term partner and bright future secretly stalked the streets in his silver car, preying on women and girls for his sexual gratification.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that, when the 27-year-old was caught by police, his mobile phone records showed he had also been posing as an underage girl on the internet to con teenagers into engaging in illegal sex chat and had a stash of indecent images of youngsters.

Todner, of Elgin Avenue, Seaham, had received just a caution from police in November after being caught performing a sex attack in front of a woman as he sat in his car in a busy shopping area in Newcastle.

He went on to embark on the sex-crime spree in March – attacking women and girls as they walked the streets of Jarow and Sunderland. His youngest victim was just 11.

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 in Jarrow as she walked home over a footbridge from the Scotch Estate to Low Simonside after a night out.

She was grabbed from behind and sexually assaulted after being pinned to the ground.

On March 23, Todner preyed on a total of eight women.

The first was targeted as she walked home in the early hours from Sunderland university campus and was sexually assaulted. Later that morning, a teenager was attacked in the city’s Toward Road.

By nine o’clock, Todner had travelled to Jarrow and attacked a teenage dog walker as she made her way to the town’s West Park and, half an hour later he was back in Sunderland, where he offered to pay a woman £30 cash for sexual favours, while exposing himself from his car.

A few minutes later he exposed himself to another woman from his car in the city and again offered to pay her cash.

By eleven o’clock Todner had travelled to Silksworth, Sunderland, where he exposed himself to another woman from his car and, less than half an hour later approached another teenager in the city and exposed himself while offering cash.

His final victim that day was an 11-year-old girl to whom he exposed himself in the Thorney Close area of Sunderland.

On March 25, Todner sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in Jarrow.

Todner was arrested after police used CCTV from a bus which had been in the area where he had made one of his approaches, and this enabled them to identify his car.

He pleaded guilty to sexual assault, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, exposure as well as making, distributing and possessing indecent photographs of children and will be sentenced next week.

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.”

Mr Moran said there is no way of knowing whether the attacks in March could have been prevented if Todner had been prosecuted rather than cautioned for exposing himself last November.

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