Justice has caught up with a bullying sexual predator after his victim came forward two decades after she was repeatedly abused.

Michael Woods destroyed his victim’s life but she was praised by a judge for her courage in coming forward and the efforts she has made to rebuild her shattered self-belief.

Judge Jonathan Carroll branded the 41-year-old a danger to women as he passed a 26-year sentence to the smirking sexual deviant.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Woods embarked on a campaign of sexual violence towards his victim.

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In a powerful victim impact statement, she said: “This trauma has had such a profound impact on my life. I have spent the majority of my life genuinely scared of Woods after everything he did to me.

“While I have managed to be able to put into words some of the events that he did which crushed me as a person, there are so many other things which he did that I can't even begin to explain.

“He needs to be held to account for everything that he did to me, to help me be able to move on with my life, and to prevent him from doing this to someone else.”

Woods, formerly of Newcastle, was found guilty of three counts of rape against the Darlington teenager following a trial at the same court. The defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with the requirements of the sex offenders’ register.

Degrading assaults

Jurors heard how the defendant subjected his victim to degrading sexual assaults as he asserted his dominance with his predatory behaviour.

Judge Carroll slammed Woods for the contempt he showed to his victim during the hearing when he placed his feet on the table and smirked while his offending was outlined to him.

The Northern Echo: Michael WoodsMichael Woods (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Sentencing the pervert to an extended sentence of 26 years, the Judge added: “You were then 18 and from your conduct towards her, you were already establishing a sexually obsessed and predatory character.

“Almost from the beginning your relationship was defined by your controlling and coercive personality. You were sexually aggressive, abusive, and entitled.”

Addressing the contents of the victim’s impact statement, he added: “It is a profound explanation of the long-term harm of controlling abusive relationships where sex is used as another weapon of control and humiliation.”

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The court heard how Woods had been convicted of another rape in 2005 and was made subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life.

“Your first response when you heard this case being opened was to put your feet on the desk in front of you and then smirking and laughing.

“From your previous rape conviction in 2005 the pre-sentence report makes it clear that you have demonstrated a persistent refusal to engage in court orders to protect the public,” the judge added.

“You hold attitudes of sexual entitlement as well as a total disregard for the views and rights of others while you prioritise your sexual needs.

“You were then and remain now a sexual predator and bully. You remain a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm being commissioned by you.”

Woods was told he would serve at least two thirds of his sentence.