Rapist who admitted to attacking young girl in Sunderland during police lie detector test jailed for nine years
A pervert who admitted he had raped a child when he was given a lie detector test while under investigation for unrelated sex offences has been jailed for almost a decade.
In 2018 David Nicholson was given a community order after he travelled to Sunderland to meet a 13-year-old girl he believed he had been chatting to online but was instead confronted by peadophile hunters Dark Justice, who had set up the fake profile.
The 46-year-old, who had 16 illegal images of children on his phone, was asked by the police during the arrest and investigation process if he would participate in a polygraph test.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Nicholson agreed and confessed during the lie detector questioning that he had attacked a girl in his past, while he was living in a bedsit in Sunderland, and told detectives who she was.
The court heard the victim, who is now an adult, was interviewed by detectives and found the courage to share sickening details of her shocking ordeal.
Nicholson, now of Gatacre Street, Blyth, Northumberland, admitted rape and six offences of indecent assault.
Judge Stephen Earl praised the victim's courage in providing details of her ordeal when she was approached by the police and jailed Nicholson for nine years and four months with a two-year extended licence period.
The judge said: "It was the police who approached her initially because of the fact he had undertaken a polygraph test in relation to the 2018 offending, unrelated to her.
"It is testament to her bravely she was able to do so.
"A number of people do not do so ever, many people do not do so for a good many years."
Judge Earl applauded the "inner strength" of the victim in speaking out.
Nicholson must now sign the sex offenders register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for life.
Prosecutor Lee Fish told the court: "The police approached her following admissions that the defendant had made during a polygraph test which was conducted while he was under investigation."
The victim said in her impact statement she has managed to make a "healthy life" for herself and is proud of all she has achieved, despite her traumatic past.
She said: "I haven't let this man's abuse destroy my life entirely. He stole my childhood but he has not stolen my adulthood."
Liam O'Brien, defending, said Nicholson had an unhappy childhood and was bullied and had difficulties.
Mr O'Brien said: "He cannot take back what he has done but he does apologise for it.
"There appears to be genuine expressions of remorse.
"This came to light because, as part of the police proceedings that followed from him being apprehended for the previous offences, he was asked if he would participate in a polygraph test.
"There was no power of the police to oblige him to do that, they couldn't force him to do it but he agreed to do it and when it was put to him the polygraph indicated there was perhaps something he would share with the police he told them who they needed to speak to."
An NSPCC Spokesperson said: “This case underlines that anyone who has suffered abuse can come forward, no matter when it happened.
“The victim’s bravery has helped ensure that Nicholson faced justice for his appalling crimes, and we hope she is now receiving any support she needs.
“We would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse to speak out in the knowledge they will be listened to.”
Children can contact Childline 24/7 on 0800 1111. Adults who wish to report abuse or concerns for a child’s welfare can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 8005000.