Man jailed after raping 13-year-old and punching baby

Nathan Hope had sex with the child in an alleyway and left her sobbing there when he received a phone call from his mother

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A man has been found guilty of having sex with a 13-year-old girl and assaulting a baby by a court in Newcastle.

Nathan Hope was sentenced to four years and nine months in a young offenders’ institution for four offences, including having sex with the child in April 2015.

The 20-year-old was also convicted of burglary, theft and common assault of a baby.

Hope, from Ashington in Northumberland, had sexual intercourse with the young girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in an alley close to Bedlington Station, shortly after the two met in a nearby park, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Hope was 18 at the time.

Addressing Hope, Judge Robert Spragg said: "You had sexual intercourse in an alley for about 10 minutes and only stopped when you received a phone call from your mother.

"At this point you left, leaving the victim alone and crying."

Defending barrister Richard Bloomfield argued that Hope "was only just a man himself" at the time, referring to the age difference of more than five years as "not huge".

But the Judge Spragg disagreed, sentencing Hope to three-and-a-half years in prison and handing him a sexual harm prevention order.

"It would have been obvious to you that she would be younger than you," he told the defendant.

Hope will now remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.

He was also sentenced to a further 11 months in custody for two separate incidents, including common assault of a baby.

The court heard that on 22 April 2016, Hope, along with accomplice Bradley Campbell, broke into the house of couple Craig Shaw and Gina Sutton.

Mr Shaw heard the burglars and confronted them.

A fight broke out between Mr Shaw and Hope, with Hope throwing a number of punches – one of which landed on Mr Shaw’s baby’s leg.

Hope and Campbell then fled the scene, taking Mr Shaw's motorbike with them.

Earlier in the year, on 24 January, Hope was also part of a group that stole a mini motorbike worth £600.

Sentencing Hope, Judge Spragg said: "The offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate."