Sex attacker gave young victims legal highs before carrying out sickening acts in his caravan

Darren Trott. Picture issued by Northumbria Police
Darren Trott. Picture issued by Northumbria Police

A pervert gave legal highs to vulnerable teens then carried out sex attacks once the victims were rendered "insensible" in his caravan.

Darren Trott sexually assaulted three girls, who were "particularly vulnerable", at his compound near St. Peter's metro station in Sunderland, which he ran like a "drop-in centre" for youths.

Newcastle Crown Court heard one victim washed her body in bleach and Dettol after Trott's attack on her and suffered burns to her back and legs as a result.

She said in a statement: "It was the only way to clean myself from Trott and what he did to me."

Another teen said: "The whole experience has stopped me from having a normal life."

The third victim said she was left "frightened" as a result of what happened to her and added: "He got me to trust him by mentioning people I knew and gave me legal highs to take."

The court heard all three victims, who were homeless or in the care system, have been devastated by the effects of their ordeals, which they all say happened when they were already at a very low point in their lives.

Prosecutor Christine Egerton told the court the attacks happened when Trott was living at the compound, which contained a caravan and scrap yard , at St Peters car park, Sheepfolds, Sunderland.

Miss Egerton said: "He had many visitors to that caravan, not least because he was in the business of selling, providing, legal highs to anyone who wanted them.

"The complainants are all vulnerable young women who came to know this defendant through his involvement with those legal highs."

Trott, 33, who has convictions for violence, dishonesty and drugs, pleaded guilty to three charges of sexual assault.

He also admitted three offences of handling stolen goods, in relation to a stolen convertible Audi, worth over £12,000, a stolen Mercedes van, worth over £20,000 and a set of stolen number plates, which were all found hidden inside the compound.

Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced him to four years and eight months behind bars.

The judge said: "Drugs were used to facilitate the assaults. At the time those drugs were legal highs.

"Drug consumption rendered each girl insensible so you could take advantage of them and commit the assaults you did."

The judge added: "One complainant described immediately after the assault she felt she needed to wash herself in both bleach and Dettol. She felt that was the only way she could clean you off her."

Judge Rippon said it is right that the formerly legal highs are now banned by law, due to their psychoactive effects.

Caroline Goodwin QC said Trott himself was "addled with drugs and drink throughout this period" and has his own difficulties.

Miss Goodwin added: "Police regularly attended the yard, knowing this was effectively a drop in centre for young people

"The police attended when they were often looking for other young individuals."

Miss Goodwin said Trott welcomed teenagers to the yard because adults his own age "wanted nothing to do with him".

She added: "It was a family plot but it wasn't a desirable existence, living in that caravan.

"It was frankly just appalling, absolutely dreadful. People were going there, dossing in the yard, it was just an appalling set of circumstances."

Miss Goodwin said Trott accepts his offending was "despicable".