Paedophile convicted of bath girl rape

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A predatory paedophile was convicted today of snatching a six-year-old from her bath, then raping and sexually abusing her.

Peter Voisey, 35, broke into the girl's home when her mother had momentarily left her alone, and subjected her to a terrifying ordeal in his car, before dumping her naked and shivering in a freezing back lane.

The jury at Newcastle Crown Court had been told Voisey carried out a similar attack on a stranger, a vulnerable 12-year-old girl, at a swimming pool four years before.

Judge David Hodson warned the shaven-headed defendant he will be jailed for life or for an indefinite period when he sentences him on December 1.

The judge said sentencing was being adjourned for the preparation of a sex offender assessment.

He told him: "You must expect to receive a sentence either of life imprisonment or an indefinite sentence for public protection.

"The purpose of the adjournment is so that the court can have a proper assessment of the risk you pose to the public at large."

Voisey, of Blyth, Northumberland, had denied carrying out the attack in North Tyneside last December 27.

He was charged with abduction, rape and sexual assault on the girl.

Voisey snatched the girl from the ground-floor flat where she lived, and drove off with her in his red Vauxhall Astra.

During a 15-20-minute tour of the area, he subjected her to two serious sexual assaults, then abandoned her near her home.

She was swabbed and tiny amounts of DNA were recovered.

The samples were too small to provide an exact match, but Voisey was found later to have a similar DNA profile to the elements recovered.

A footprint found in the bathroom in the girl's two-bedroom downstairs flat partially matched his Diadora trainer.

Mobile phone mast analysis proved his handset was in the North Tyneside area, and not at his home in Blyth, at the time of the offence.

His alibis, at first that he was away from the area, then that he was buying cannabis in North Tyneside, crumbled.

The prosecution successfully applied for bad character evidence under the 2003 Criminal Justice Act to be put before the jury, who were told of a similar sex attack on a vulnerable 12-year-old stranger at a swimming bath.

The court also heard he carried out two break-ins which had a sexual element.

A life-long friend recalled Voisey confiding he wanted to "do something" to a child after the pair drove past two youngsters aged around six and eight, the jury heard.

James Goss QC, prosecuting, said the defendant had a propensity to lie.

His car, borrowed from a friend, was involved in a minor collision with a female the day after the kidnapping, and was scrapped at a yard in Byker, Newcastle. It has never been recovered.

Voisey told a friend's girlfriend graphic details about the abduction and sexual assaults which had never been made public.

The jury of six men and six women took three hours 45 minutes to return its unanimous verdict of guilty on all three counts that he faced.

The judge had warned the public gallery not to react to the verdicts, which were returned in a steady voice by the foreman.

The little girl's parents remained in court for the short hearing, but the partner of the girl's mother left the court in tears when the first guilty verdict was returned.

Voisey began to weep and held his head in his hands as he sat behind the glass dock at the rear of Court No 1.

Moments before the jury returned, the mother and her partner linked arms in the front row of the public gallery, with the mother's partner in tears.

The violation of the family home was "every mother's nightmare", she said in a statement outside court.

She said: "My little girl was in the bath in her own home within earshot of everyone else in the flat, the back door was shut and I'd only just left the bathroom to go to another room when she was snatched.

"It's every mother's nightmare to think your children aren't safe in their home.

"You wouldn't think you would have to lock all your doors this early in the evening to protect your children from anyone entering your home uninvited."

The mother thanked police and everyone who had helped the investigation.

She also singled out for praise Geoffrey and June Brown who looked after her daughter when she was dumped in the back lane.