A Sunderland man has been jailed for ten years after being convicted of carrying out sexual offences against a vulnerable girl.
Spencer Barella, 21, from Crossways in Silksworth, was found guilty of rape and two counts of sexual assault on the girl in Sunderland.
He was arrested as part of Operation Sanctuary, Northumbria Police’s investigation into crimes of a sexual nature against vulnerable women and girls.
Deputy Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “This was an appalling crime involving a young girl who was clearly in a vulnerable state.
“Barella used the fact that this teenager was under the influence of alcohol to his own advantage as she would have been in no fit state to stop him.
“There is no place in our community for men like Barella. I hope today’s conviction comes as a warning to others who target vulnerable women and abuse them for their own gratification that they will be arrested and dealt with.
“I hope it also comes as some comfort to the victim whose bravery in speaking to police throughout the investigation and during court proceedings is commended.
“Operation Sanctuary is continuing and I would encourage anyone who believes they or someone they know has been subjected to such crimes to come forward. They will be believed and they will be supported.
“We would also urge members of the public and businesses, who have always given us tremendous support, to keep coming forward with any information they think can assist us.
“Working together, we can put a stop to this offending behaviour and keep our communities safe for everyone.”