March 2015

County Durham child rapist jailed for ten years

County Durham child rapist jailed for ten years

A CHILD rapist whose crimes were branded “abhorrent” by his own barrister is starting a ten-year prison sentence.

Connor Bradley, who is now 21, was said to have had an “inappropriate interest” in young girls throughout his life.

Despite being arrested for abusing one child, he preyed on another while police carried out their investigation.

His offending was described as “persistent” and “serious” when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Monday to be sentenced.

Judge Howard Crowson told him: “It is necessary to protect the public from sexual harm from you, particularly children.”

The court heard how Bradley, from Spennymoor, County Durham, was in his mid-teens when he started offending.

He physically assaulted his victim, raped her, sexually assaulted her, and warned her: “If you tell anyone, I’ll hurt you.”

It was years later before the police were made aware of the abuse, and Bradley was questioned, said prosecutor Shaun Dodds.

But he picked out another victim who he touched inappropriately a number of times before she reported it.

Bradley, of Oxclose Crescent, Spennymoor, admitted rape, six charges of sexual assault and two of assault by penetration.

He was jailed for ten years and four months, and put on the sex offenders’ register for life by Judge Crowson.

He is also banned from having unsupervised contact with under-18s as part of a new Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Judge Crowson told him: “Although you were very young at the time of the earlier offences, you were fully aware what you were doing was wrong.”

Andrew Scott, mitigating, told the court that Bradley saved his victims from having to give evidence by admitting his crimes.

“He has an understanding that his behaviour is more than totally unacceptable – it is abhorrent,” said Mr Scott.

“He knows there never will be any justification, no matter how old he was at the time of the commission of these offences.”

Mr Scott said Bradley will be offered help behind bars for his problem, but added: “Of course, the ball is in his court.

“He is a young man and he will, if he chooses, still have a future when he is released, but that’s entirely up to his attitude.

“He must use his time positively and purposefully.”