Rape cop kept victim on drugs

Stephen Mitchell

Stephen Mitchell

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JAILED rape cop Stephen Mitchell repeatedly prevented his Sunderland victim from breaking her drug habit so he could continue to sexually abuse her, the Echo can reveal today.

The Northumbria Police officer, who was yesterday given two life sentences, was so keen to keep control over the Wearside woman he manipulated and controlled her life in order to repeatedly rape her.

Mitchell must serve seven-and-a-half years behind bars before he can even apply for parole, but was warned he may never be released.

The victim had been desperately trying to break her addiction but was targeted by the uniformed officer who would drive through to Wearside to threaten and abuse the vulnerable woman.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Mr Justice Wilkie told him: “You were able to treat her as a sex object over a period of years, you repeatedly exploited her for your own pleasure.

“So keen were you to maintain your hold that you actively discouraged her from her attempt to break her drug addiction.

“In the end you turned on her and, in anger, you raped her in her own home.”

Mitchell was jailed after raping two victims, including the Sunderland woman, and abusing five more, during a five year period.

Sentencing the 42-year-old, Justice Wilkie said: “I’m satisfied it is likely, if you were at large, even though you would not hold a position of authority such as being a police officer, you would remain a danger to women.

“The duration, intensity, severity and compulsive nature of the conduct of which you have been found guilty is such that, if at large, you would be likely to commit similar offences in future.”

The judge warned Mitchell, who remained expressionless during the hearing while flanked by four prison guards, he may never be released from jail.

The predatory sex pest, a divorced dad who was born in Glasgow, had worked with the force for just a year when he carried out the first attack.

The 42-year-old denied a total of 26 offences of rape, indecent assault and misconduct in public office and was tried by a jury last year.

After a five week trial, and almost a week of deliberations, jurors found him guilty of two charges of rape, three of indecent assault and six of misconduct in public office.

The offences, against a total of seven women, began in 1999.

During his police service the trusted officer handcuffed and raped the Sunderland woman after tracking her down when she moved homes in the city to get away from his four year campaign blackmail and threats.

He also raped another woman, who he initially offered to help get her children back then threatened to plant heroin in her home, in his car and covered her mouth as she screamed in terror.

Throughout the trial, Mitchell, who was regularly flanked by around four prison guards, denied the allegations entirely.

Following the sentence, Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Jim Campbell said: “I want to again pay tribute to the victims in this case and thank them. Without their courage and support we could not have succeeded in bringing Mitchell to justice

“I hope today’s sentence will now allow them to move on with their lives.”