August 2021

Sex predator raped girl in her sleep

A sex predator has been jailed after raping a teenager in her sleep, leaving her “terrified”.

Lee Hodgson, from Blyth, took advantage of his victim as she slept in her own bed.

The 20-year-old appeared in Teesside Crown Court on Friday for sentencing.

Christine Edgerton, prosecuting, told the court Hodgson and his victim initially became friends on Facebook.

They were talking online for five months before he asked to stay at her house.

The family welcomed Hodgson and had arranged for him to sleep downstairs on the sofa.

On the night of the offence, she went to bed wearing a long sleeve top, pyjama bottoms and a bra.

When she woke the next morning, she found that her top had been removed.

The defendant was lying next to her bed and when he awoke, he was fidgety and refused to make eye contact with her.

He said: “You looked sweaty, so I took off your top.

“I had sex with you while you were asleep.

“It is not okay because it is rape.”

The victim went into the shower where she noticed bruises on her arms.

When her mother asked what was going on, she said she “had stomach problems”.

The defendant was then asked to leave the property and the incident was reported to the police.

When he was arrested, Hodgson was interviewed by police, referred to the victim as “his ex” and said that it was consensual.

Hodgson initially denied the charges of rape but pleaded guilty on the day of the trial.

The victim said she believes that Hodgson had dragged the court process out just to “torture her”.

In her victim statement she spoke of the affect on her mental health and the “strain it put on her and her family”.

She was left “terrified” by the incident and has suffered from nightmares ever since, saying she would wake up “screaming and shouting”.

She suffered anxiety as a result and said she was “dependent on weed” to calm her, putting further strain on her family relationship

The family made a decision to install CCTV on their house in case Hodgson returned to the address.

He was sentenced to five years and one month imprisonment. He is also subject t a restraining order against the victim.