A 69-year-old man who forced his hand down a teenager's trousers and forced her to perform a sex act on him has been jailed, more than a decade after the attack.

Henry Spark was on his way to work as a delivery driver in April 2008 when he spotted a lone female walking in the dark at around 3am.

He pulled over to offer her a lift and within minutes of her entering the car was grabbing her hand and pulling it towards his groin.

After driving for a few minutes Spark pulled over and forced the then 17-year-old to perform a sex act on him.

The teenager reported the incident to police the following day but DNA taken from the victim's clothes did not match any on record.

However when Spark was convicted of another sex offence in 2018, his DNA matched this historic unsolved case.

After initially denying ever having a girl in his car, he accepted that he did pick the teenager up but argued that she consented to the sexual activity.

He was convicted of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, assault by penetration and sexual assault at Durham Crown Court after a two-day trial.

In a statement read out to the court the victim said: "I want to articulate as best as I can how I have felt over the last ten years. Since it happened I know I am not the same person.

"I had a naive and childish belief in people. I thought trustworthy people were outwardly visible, I was not sceptical of everybody as I am now.

"I feel emotionally down, and want to stop thinking about how genuinely terrified I was for my life. I want to go to sleep without reliving that night.

"I have done my very best to spend time alone in public so I can prove to myself that being outside the house is not scary enough to warrant palm sweats and heart palpitations. I have to tell myself that eventually I will get used to being outside how I used to be but I have had no improvements.

"I hope one day I can look back at what happened and not feel so raw about it and move on with my day to day life."

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said Spark was convicted for possessing and making indecent images of children in January last year when he was given an eight month custodial sentence, suspended for two years. He also has a historic conviction of exposing himself in 1973.

HHJ Jonathan Carroll said: "I am satisfied that by the time she [the victim] got into the car you were determined to have a sexual encounter with or without her consent."

Spark, of Victor Street, Chester-Le-Street, was jailed for three years for all counts.