'Dangerous' South Shields sex attacker jailed for 11 years after raping schoolgirl

A sex attacker who raped a schoolgirl has been put behind bars and branded a danger to the public.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 3:37 pm

The 31-year-old denied the historic attack and was convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this year.

At his sentence hearing the court heard a statement made by the victim.

She said she feels "sick and angry" about what happened to her as a little girl and added: "Most nights I have nightmares he's raping or watching me.

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Paul Hunter.

"I have severe flashbacks to him raping me."

The victim said men who have red hair or are called Paul give her "massive warning signs" in her day to day life.

She added: "I hate I have to pretend I am happy all the time but I'm not."

Hunter, of Marshall Wallace Road, South Shields, who has a previous conviction and has served a prison sentence for an attack on another child, was convicted of rape and a sexual assault.

Paul Hunter

He pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing indecent images of children in relation to 46 pictures on his phone, that had been deleted but were found by police who were monitoring him as a result of the previous offence.

Judge Julie Clemtison sentenced Hunter to 11 years behind bars, with an extended five year licence period and said he must register as a sex offender for life.

The judge said Hunter's risk of committing further contact offences against children has been assessed as "very high" and he has an "ongoing sexual interest in children".

Judge Clemitson told him: "I am satisfied you pose a significant risk of causing serious harm by the commission of further serious specified offences."

Robin Turton, defending, said there was no evidence the rape attack involved "substantial planning or grooming" and it happened at around the same time as the offence against the other child, when Hunter was much younger.

Detective Constable Kit Tipling, who led the investigation, said: "Paul Hunter is a predatory paedophile who took advantage of a young girl in the worst possible way, and I am pleased he is now behind bars where he is no longer able to pose a threat.

“I would like to take this opportunity to once again praise the victim for taking those incredibly brave steps to come forward and speak out, and ultimately help us bring Hunter to justice.

“I hope this sentence sends a strong and clear message to offenders that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

“I'd urge anyone who is suffering abuse to come forward and report to police. We are here to help."

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