‘Dark impulses’ led sex attacker to target women in Newcastle

Newcastle Combined Court. Copyright Google Images.
Newcastle Combined Court. Copyright Google Images.

A young man who told officers of ‘dark impulses’ taking over has been jailed for 11 years after sexually assaulting young females in pedestrian tunnels and overbridges near the A1.

David Hedley, who has just turned 20-years-old, had an ‘overwhelming sensation’ to target the girls and he carried out a number of sex offences in the West End of Newcastle over a period of years.

It’s like knowing what you’re doing without having control of what you’re doing.

David Hedley

On one occasion Hedley ran after a young girl before throwing her to the ground and attempting to rape her.

Gavin Doig, prosecuting, said: “She bravely bit the man’s fingers causing the defendant to desist and run away.”

Hedley of Cornhill, East Denton, Newcastle, admitted attempted rape, two counts of sexual assault, sexual assault of a child under 13, two counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and exposure.

Mr Doig told Newcastle Crown Court: “(In interview) he said he could recall the incident and was responsible. He said that when he saw the girl his dark impulses took over and he attacked her as described.

“He went on to say that when he sees a nice girl who he finds attractive he gets a heightened state of adrenaline and sexual urges that he is unable to resist.

“He said that while he realised that his behaviour was wrong he accepted that he gained sexual gratification from it, from the adrenaline rush.

“He described the feeling as an overwhelming sensation. ‘It’s like knowing what you’re doing without having control of what you’re doing’ clearly an attitude the prosecution would point to as most concerning.”

Judge Jamie Hill QC told Hedley, who appeared via video link from prison: “You started at the age of 11 exposing yourself to young females and masturbating.

“I have come to the conclusion you do pose a risk of serious harm to girls under the age of 18.”

Judge Hill sentenced Hedley to 11 years in prison with a extension period of 5 years.

Judge Hill added: “At the age of 20 you will be under the control of the prison service and the probation service for the next 16 years.”

Following the hearing Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fairlamb said: “David Hedley is a prolific sexual offender who has targeted his offences at young girls in the West Denton area of Newcastle since October 2012.

“It is clear that his offending behaviour would most likely have continued if he had not been apprehended by police. In this case the offending escalated from indecent exposure to sexual assault before he was stopped.

“The public deserve to be protected from him and the sentence handed down today will ensure he is no longer at liberty to re-offend.

“We know that these type of offences do cause great concern to residents and wewant to reassure people that we take all types of sexual offences veryseriously and will always seek to put offenders before the courts.”