A REMORSELESS rapist is starting a 15-year prison sentence for a "cruel and debasing" attack on a schoolgirl grieving the death of a close relative.

Convicted sex offender Dale Hutcheson sneaked into the teenager's home while she was in the shower and asked where other members of the household were.

When he learned that she was alone, he forced himself upon the young terrified teenager, telling her: "Be quiet, don't move, and it won't hurt."

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Hutcheson was 19 at the time of the attack, and had been out of prison just days after serving a sentence for two sexual assaults, Teesside Crown Court heard.

His victim told in an impact statement how she has had to pack in work because of anxiety, has trouble sleeping and is on medication from her doctor.

She said in the statement that her emotions are "all over the place" and her personality is unpredictable, and her moods are also affecting her young son.

Hutcheson, who still denies carrying out the attack, was told by a judge: "This callous and brutal rape has had a significant and lasting impact."

The youngster reported the crime ten years ago, but felt unable to go through with it, and her assailant remained at large, the court was told.

But two years ago, following a chance meeting in Redcar when he taunted his victim about nobody believing her, she went to the police for a second time.

After being released from a four-year sentence for stabbing a woman in the leg, Hutcheson struck again after a drink and drugs binge in a social club.

He was convicted of indecent exposure, attempted rape and sexually assaulting a woman at the home of a friend, and a sexually assaulting her friend.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said Hutcheson, of Broxa Close, Redcar, still refuses to accept the findings of the jury after the trial in May.

A probation worker deemed him a high risk of reoffending because of his denials, and the judge imposed an extended sentence for public protection.

Recorder Nicholas Barker said he will be assessed after serving two-thirds of his term, but will be freed only when the Parole Board think it is safe.