January 2003

Fined for unlawful sex with girl of 13.

A MAN who was warned that he would go to jail for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl walked free from court yesterday.

Mark Cochrane was instead handed a £2,500 fine at Teesside Crown Court after he admitted having unlawful sex with the girl, whom he had picked up in his car.

Cochrane, 23, of Balmer Hill, Gainford, County Durham, was cleared in December of two rapes, an attempted rape and three charges of indecent assault.

But he was told by Judge John Walford that he faced a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse.