Trimdon sex ‘predator’ considered a danger to young females
A “predatory” sex offender lured an underage girl into his home before raping her, a court was told.
Robert Anthony Ryan, who was on bail for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl at the time, met the rape victim at a bus stop before using a pretext of seeking her assistance to persuade her to go with him to his nearby home.
Durham Crown Court heard that once inside the attack took place, despite the girl’s protests and telling him how old she was.
Robin Patton, prosecuting, said following the attack, Ryan told the shaken girl not to say anything about it, and escorted her back to the bus stop, where she was physically sick.
Despite informing a family member of the incident three years later, the victim did not report it to police for several years, and only after she had begun counselling due to the anxiety she still suffered long after the attack.
Mr Patton said when arrested in 2020, Ryan said the girl willingly had sex with him, and maintained that lie through the court process until the day of his trial, shortly before Christmas.
It was only then that the now 42-year-old defendant, of Lawson Street, Trimdon Colliery, admitted the rape.
The court heard he has other sex offences on his record from 2009 and 2016.
Sentence was adjourned until yesterday to allow for preparation of a background report on Ryan by the Probation Service.
His sentencing hearing was told of the long-term effect the incident has had on the victim, who moved away from the North East when she reached 16, as a result.
Her victim statement outlined the mistrust she now has in other people, generally, but with men, in particular, and the anxiety she has suffered since.
The court heard the probation report classes Ryan as posing a significant risk to the public, generally, but specifically to young females.
Judge James Adkin said he considers Ryan as being a dangerous offender, particularly to younger females.
“There’s a pattern of targeting children for sex and the author of the report points to him behaving in an unpredictable, uncontrolled, predatory way.”
Judge Adkin imposed a prison sentence of eight years and one month, of which Ryan must serve at least two-thirds before being eligible to be considered for release by the Parole Board, but he may have to serve the full term behind bars.
On release he will then be subject to four years’ extended licence period.
He was also made subject of lifetime conditions of both a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and notification requirements as a sex offender.
A lifetime restraining order also prohibits contact with the rape victim.