Sunderland man found guilty of sexually assaulting young girl 30 years ago

A Sunderland man, who now lives in Spain, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a young girl in the early 1990s.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 4:30 pm
Updated Friday, 26th July 2019, 12:17 pm
David Wood

A man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a schoolgirl after his victim had the bravery to come forward almost three decades after the offence took place.

David Wood, 62, who lives in Spain but is formerly of Sunderland, was accused of inappropriately touching the schoolgirl, carrying out a sex act in front of her and asking her to perform a sex act upon him.

The victim only found the confidence to come forward and tell police about the abuse in 2017.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

David Wood

Woods was arrested and later charged with two counts of gross indecency and one count of inciting a child.

He denied the charges but was found guilty by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court. He will be sentenced at the same court in September.

Detective Constable Grace Willett, of the Force's Safeguarding department, took on the case when the victim bravely came forward in 2017 after almost 30 years of silence.

Det Con Willett said: "It takes so much courage to come forward and report incidents of this nature to police, especially when they are historic reports.

"This victim found the strength to come forward and she now has justice for the vile actions this man imposed on her.

"While we await his sentence, I hope this can be the start of a process of recovery for the victim and that she can begin to move forward with her life.

"I would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse to please come forward to police. Please don't suffer any longer. We are here to listen and take action."

If you have been a victim of any form of sexual abuse, whether this is recent or historic, contact police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

To contact the 24/7 Crisis Helpline contact 03333448283 or find out more about our Sexual Assault Referral Centre by searching REACH SARC online.

Victims can also contact Victims First Northumbria on 0800 011 3116 for independent advice and support.