A children's charity has praised the bravery of a young man who came forward more than a decade after being raped and abused.
We reported how Warren Wilkinson carried out two sickening sex attacks on his young victim in Sunderland more than a decade ago, when he was only 12 years old himself.
The 26-year-old was arrested when his victim, who is now an adult, found the courage to break his silence and reported what happened to him to the police.
The first attack happened when Wilkinson, who was 12 at the time, asked the boy to follow him into some bushes.
During a second attack he raped the young victim, who then managed to run away.
An NSPCC spokeswoman said: “Wilkinson’s crime will have had a devastating impact on his young victim and he’s now rightly behind bars.
“He probably thought he’d escaped punishment and by denying his actions, Wilkinson subjected his victim to the ordeal of a trial.
“It is vitally important that victims of abuse have the confidence to come forward, no matter how much time has passed, so abusers can be brought to justice. It is never too late.”
In this case the Judge recognised that Wilkinson committed this crime when he was little more than a child himself. The NSPCC runs “Turn the Page” in Newcastle, a service helping young people change their behaviour by identifying and managing their thoughts, emotions and actions.
But the NSPCC said there is a shortfall of specialist services to help both the perpetrators and victims of such crimes.
Their spokeswoman said: "There is a shortfall of services in this specialist area of work nationally. The government not only needs to ensure all victims can access services but do more to improve assessment and treatment facilities for children and young people who sexually harm others.
“The NSPCC is not only committed to prevention and protecting any potential future victims from being sexually abused but also in providing intervention to support children and young people in moving away from acting out these behaviours in the future.”