July 2007

Child rapist is jailed for 18 years

A RAPIST who targeted an underage girl in South Tyneside over a three-year period has been jailed for 18 years.

David Hunter, 43, of Fell Court, Gateshead, carried out a series of rapes and sexual assaults on the same girl in South Shields.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was 14 at the time of the first attack.

Hunter, convicted by a jury after trial, raped the girl four times and sexually assaulted her twice between 1999 and 2002.

Sentencing, Judge Beatrice Bolton said: “You still protest your innocence. I don’t punish you for that. I sentence you on the basis of the jury’s verdict. You repeatedly raped a young girl.

“You raped her and sexually assaulted her after you became aware that she had been abused before but no complaint had been made. She was very afraid of you.”

Hunter had two previous convictions for sexual assault. The last came in 1999 after he attacked a 17-year-old girl for which he served a prison sentence.

Hunter was given an 18-year prison sentence for rape. He was sentenced to five years for indecent assault and three years for assault occasioning actual bodily harm to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life