A rapist has been sentenced to 15 years after the brave victim movingly appealed to a judge to lock him up to keep others safe.

Frederick Newton, 61, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, is now behind bars, after his victim came forward to report the historic abuse.

Specialist detectives supported the woman and interviewed Newton, who claimed he was an innocent man.

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Newton was subsequently charged with two counts of rape of a female under 16.

He maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty but, during a trial in June this year at Newcastle Crown Court, a jury found him guilty of both rape charges.

Last month, a judge heard a specially-written statement from the victim, where she spoke of the years of torment she’d endured and asked the judge to consider giving Newton the maximum penalty to ‘protect others from him’.

He was sentenced to 15 years behind bars, placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for Life, given a restraining order preventing him ever contacting the victim again and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Detective Constable Amy Burridge, of Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department, led the investigation.

Praising the victim, she said: “What she went through has understandably haunted her for years. Coming forward, having to re-live those experiences and contribute as part of a trial and court proceedings was not easy for the victim but her bravery and desire to keep others safe has shone throughout.

“I want to thank her for her courage, her dignity and her compassion for others and wholeheartedly hope that this sentence gives her a sense of peace.”

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She added: “This case shows that is never too late to speak up and that justice is possible, no matter how much time has passed.

“If you’ve been suffering in silence, now is the time to speak up.”

Anyone looking to disclose a report of any kind of sexual abuse can do so by calling officers on 101 or reporting via the Force’s website. For information and support, visit our the Northumbria Police website.