Rapist cop given two life sentences

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RAPIST policeman Stephen Mitchell has been given two life sentences.

Mitchell was convicted of two rapes, three indecent assaults and six counts of misconduct in a public office against seven female victims – including one from Sunderland.

Sentencing, trial judge Mr Justice Wilkie told Newcastle Crown Court Mitchell presented such a danger to women that he might never be released from prison.

He said the officer had broken the bond of trust that existed between the public and the police. Mitchell was a sexual predator who "ruthlessly exploited" his victims for his own pleasure and "degraded them repeatedly".

He said: "You succeeded so well you were able to treat them as sex objects over a period of months, and in some cases, years.

"So cowed and downtrodden by their experiences of life and by your influence were those seven women that they did not report what you had done until they were given the opportunity to do so by the police investigation into your activities years later."

He said Mitchell would serve at least seven-and-a-half years in jail before being considered for parole.

"Thereafter, you will only be released, if at all, if the parole board has concluded it is safe and in the public interest for you to be released on public licence.

"That may not be for many years, if for ever."

The judge had ordered psychiatric and sex offender reports before passing sentence.

In the court's public gallery, some of Mitchell's victims wept as he was led into the dock.

Short, stocky, and wearing a goatee beard, Mitchell remained impassive as the judge passed sentence.

During a five-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court, the Pc claimed last month he was the victim of a conspiracy hatched by the criminal underworld, and labelled his accusers liars.

But a jury found for his victims, and after nearly a week of deliberations convicted him of raping two women and carrying out three further indecent assaults.