May 2023

‘Manipulative and predatory paedophile’ who groomed and raped teen sentenced to nine years behind bars

A man who groomed and then raped a schoolgirl has been jailed after his victim bravely came forward to tell police of the ordeal her attacker had subjected her to.

Richard Park, 45, had been contacting the 15-year-old girl via social media, before meeting the victim in January 2020.

While in his car in the North Tyneside area, he forced the teenager to perform a sex act on him.

The victim then contacted police to inform them of what had taken place and a full investigation was launched – in which the victim shared numerous messages with officers which Park had sent her.

Following his arrest, Park denied any physical contact between himself and the victim.

He was however subsequently charged with rape of a female under 16, engaging in sexual communications with a child and child grooming.

Park, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child and child grooming, but not guilty to the rape charge – which he was convicted of following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

At the same court on Wednesday, May 10, he was sentenced to a total of nine years in prison.

Park was also made subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the next decade.