A pervert remained free to rape a child after an earlier victim reported him to the police for a serious sex attack but no action was taken.
Albert Wilcox is facing years behind bars for a shocking series of sexual offences carried out on three victims over a number of years.
Newcastle Crown Court heard one teenager had previously made a report and was interviewed by police about a sickening attack he had subjected her to but the case against him was not proceeded with.
It was only when the most recent victim made a report that Wilcox had raped her that the case was resurrected and he will now, finally, be brought to justice.
Wilcox, 55, of Clovelly Road, Sunderland, has now admitted four offences of indecent assault in relation to a child he targeted as his first victim.
He also pleaded guilty to indecent assault in relation to the teen who bravely made a report at the time of the attack, despite being "scared" of Wilcox.
Wilcox has also admitted four offences of rape and four of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity in relation to another young victim, who he targeted more recently.
The latest young victim said in a heartbreaking impact statement: "Sometimes I think he will be able to come and hurt me again.
"I never spoke out because he said I would never be believed."
Prosecutor Michael Hodson told the court one teenager had told her mother what had happened to her and the attack was reported to the police but the case was "not proceeded with".
Mr Hodson added: "When (the third complainant) came forward to tell what had happened to her, the police checked the police records in relation to this defendant and found the earlier complaint was in the system and it was resurrected and the defendant has pleaded guilty."
Wilcox, who appeared at the hearing via videolink to HMP Durham, will be sentenced for all of the offending next month and has been remanded in custody.
Mr recorder Ben Nolan QC told him: "Be under no illusion, you will be sentenced to an extensive period of imprisonment."
Tony Hawks, defending, told the court: "He accepts and has always accepted, from the point he pleaded guilty,. that he is going to receive a significant sentence of imprisonment."