September 2006

SEX BEAST PREYED ON INNOCENT GIRLS

A SEX attacker who targeted two young girls has been branded a danger to children and jailed indefinitely.

Andrew Bell attacked the 13 and 14-year-olds between June and November last year, while living in Wheatley Hill and Wingate, County Durham.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 43-year-old denied the offences, which meant his victims had to give evidence against him in front of a jury.

He was convicted at Durham Crown Court earlier this month, despite his denials, and appeared for sentence at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday. The court heard how he still denies attempted rape on the 14-year-old, sexual assault and causing a child to engage in sexual activity without her consent, despite the jury’s guilty verdicts.

Judge Richard Lowden, who presided over the trial, jailed Bell indefinitely for the protection of the public.

Harm

He told him: “It is clear from the risk assessment you do present a high risk of sexual harm to female children.

“I am satisfied you do present a significant risk of serious harm to members of the public by commission of further offences. You are, therefore, a dangerous offender.”

Judge Lowden told Bell he cannot apply for parole until he has served at least three-and-a-half years.

But he added: “That is not for one moment to suggest you will, or should be, released at that stage in your sentence.”

Bell, of Tom Raine Court, Darlington, will be on licence for the rest of his life and must register as a sex offender indefinitely.

He was banned from ever working with children.

The parole board will decide if, and when, Bell will ever be safe to be released back into the community.