April 2022

Cramlington rapist jailed for horrific sex attack on drunken sleeping girl

A pervert who raped a schoolgirl has been jailed for nine years.

The victim, who was under 16, had fallen asleep due to her state of intoxication and came round to find Mark Heron on top of her. Heron, who ran away during his trial in a “cowardly” act, was found guilty of raping the teen by a jury.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 45-year-old, who still maintains his innocence, left his victim living in fear.

She said in a victim impact statement: “This has affected my confidence and I find it hard to be intimate with anyone. He has shattered the trust I used to hold in people in general. I’m scared in case I bump into him, the fear is always on my mind.”

The court heard the victim came around to find Heron had removed clothing and was on top of her.

Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said: “Although she had fallen asleep with her leggings on, she realised these were no longer on, and her knickers were down to her ankles.

“The defendant was wearing a T-Shirt but he was not wearing any pants, he had one hand over her mouth and had his other hand on her waist whilst having sex with her.

She noticed that there was a chair blocking the door which leads to the stairs. Once she realised what was happening, she told the defendant “No” and he said to her “Shhhh it’s alright”.

“She was in pain…so she tried to move. She tried to push the defendant off her but he took his hand off her mouth and pushed her arm down.

She tried to knee him but she wasn’t able to and he pushed down harder on her mouth. She could not fight any more, and he remained on top of her.”

Miss Richardson added: “The Crown submits that this defendant took advantage of her inebriated state and raped her, knowing fine well that she was asleep.

When she woke up and made it plain that she did not want or welcome his attentions, he continued to rape her, with his hand over her mouth, the door having been secured with a chair.”

Heron, of Arcot Avenue, Cramlington, Northumberland, who has a previous conviction for indecent exposure to a “group of young females”, was told he must serve at least two-thirds of the nine year prison sentence.

He was given an additional four weeks for failing to surrender after absenting himself from his trial.

Heron will also have to sign the sex offenders register for life and was given an indefinite restraining order.