A RAPIST who preyed on a vulnerable teenager has been jailed after he was found guilty as a result of a retrial.

Nicholas Parkinson from Darlington remained emotionless as he was sentenced to seven years in prison for raping the girl several years ago.

The 46-year-old poured juice over her head in an attempt to get close to his young victim and pushed her to the floor before raping her.

Parkinson, who is soon to be a father, was found guilty by a second jury during a retrial in May this year after jurors initially could not reach an unanimous verdict.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Parkinson’s actions and continued denial has devastated his victim who now suffers from numerous mental health challenges and struggles to form relationships.

Quoting the woman, Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said: “It is difficult to put into words the day to day impact it has had on my life. The actions of this man will live with me forever, I will never forget what he put me through that day.

“In court I was made to feel that it was me in the wrong. I was called a liar and accused of seeking attention. After everything he has put me through, he still went to court and denied it. I was called names and called a grass for saying what he did.

“To this day I have been left with issues of confidence, self esteem, anxiety and anger. I struggle to form relationships because I am on edge around people and I am undergoing assessment for PTSD.

“I hope what I have done will prevent him doing it to anyone else.”

Chris Baker, defending, said Parkinson, who suffers from mental health challenges, did not planned the “short lived” attack and would struggle in custody.

But Parkinson, of Corporation Road, Darlington, was sentenced to seven years in prison and handed a restraining order, Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “The offence of rape was committed against a young teenage girl. Unhappily she was brought up in a chaotic household and felt she would not be believed if she complained.

“You took advantage of her situation. You pour juice over her and used this as an excuse to get close to her. You pushed her to the floor and assaulted her sexually.

“The long term effects of rape are too clear, it has had life long consequences. You denied the offence and were convicted by a jury who didn’t believe your case - yet you remain in denial.”