A JUDGE has warned a man convicted of raping a reveller as she returned home from a fancy-dress night out that he could be locked up indefinitely.

Craig Campbell was yesterday convicted of a violent attack on the woman and was remanded in custody for assessments and reports to be compiled.

Judge Les Spittle said he would look at the Probation Service view on Campbell’s dangerousness before deciding what sentence he should get.

If the 22-year-old is deemed a danger to the public, he could be released only when the Parole Board no longer considers he is a substantial risk.

Campbell denied raping and sexually assaulting the woman after a chance meeting as they both made their way home in the early hours of March 21.

He claimed she consented to sexual activity, but said he “snapped” after a petty argument and ripped off her fancy-dress outfit to humiliate her.

The jury at Teesside Crown Court convicted him unanimously of each charge.

Campbell, of Ormesby Road, Hartlepool, was told by Judge Spittle that he will be sentenced next month after the reports have been prepared.

Judge Spittle said: “The inevitable sentence is a substantial sentence of imprisonment – and have no illusions, it will be a substantial period of custody.”

Campbell had drunk a two-litre bottle of cheap wine and at least a dozen bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale with whisky chasers before the attack.

He had also smoked a number of cannabis joints and taken two ecstasy pills, four valium tablets and a strip of LSD during his night out.

He met the girl in Rossmere Way, Hartlepool, some time after 4am, as they were walking home in opposite directions, and attacked her.

Campbell claimed they chatted and had a laugh together before she agreed to his request to go into a clump of trees for a sexual liaison. His account was branded “a figment of his imagination” by Shaun Dodds, prosecuting.

The victim, who was badly beaten, ran to a nearby house for help.