Newcastle man who sexually abused youngster while she pretended to sleep in 'utter fear' jailed

Raun of Bentinck Terrace will also have to sign the sex offenders' register for life. Credit: Northumbria Police

A Newcastle man who abused his young victim while she pretended to sleep has been jailed for 18 years.

Stephen James Raun, of Bentinck Terrace, began sexually assaulting the girl in 2016.

The court heard how Raun would visit her home, enter her bedroom and abuse her while she pretended to sleep "in utter fear", according to Northumbria Police.

The victim spoke out in 2020 and an investigation was launched by the force's Safeguarding Department.

Raun, 33, was arrested and questioned by detectives and denied all the allegations put to him.

He was subsequently charged and the case went to trial.

A jury at Newcastle Crown Court found him guilty of four counts of sexual assault and one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, police said. 

On 24 Jun, he was sentenced to 18 years behind bars.

Lead detective Keith Harbottle hopes the sentence gives a sense of closure for the victim.

Det Con Harbottle said: "The assault carried out by Raun has truly tarnished this victim's childhood and I commend her bravery for speaking out.

"I hope the outcome not only gives the victim a sense of closure but encourages others who have been subjected to sexual abuse to come forward and report it."

Raun was also handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will have to sign the sex offenders' register for life.