A MAN who sexually assaulted a young teenage girl with learning difficulties, later denied having any attraction to the victim.

It was discovered, however, that Steven James Wilson had searched for material on the internet relating to such abuse of girls of that age, but tried to wipe clean his computer hard drive before police were informed of the allegations.

When his activities began to surface Wilson tried to commit suicide by taking a concoction of drugs, with a bottle of whisky.

Durham Crown Court heard he was found slumped alongside a pile of vomit on a busy road in Newton Aycliffe, with an imitation firearm and large kitchen knife recovered nearby.

Wilson, 36, formerly of Honister Place, Newton Aycliffe, spent time in hospital recovering, and subsequently in a mental health unit, before being remanded in custody having admitted two charges of sexual assault by penetration and one of rape, at a previous hearing.

He also admitted possessing an offensive weapon and imitation firearm in public.

The court was told the “very vulnerable victim” of his activities has suffered, “extreme psychological difficulties” as a result and has self harmed.

Jailing him for 14 years, Judge Christopher Prince also made Wilson subject of a sexual offences prevention order, and registration as a sex offender, for life.