Peter Anderson’s offending only came to light after a teenage victim reached out to her school guidance counsellor who encouraged her to speak to the police where she revealed the abuse that she had suffered.
A second female, in her 20s, also found the courage to report that she had been raped by the 29-year-old when a concerned GP put her in touch with Sunderland charity Wearside Women in Need.
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Anderson, of Easington Lane, Houghton, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court in January this year, where he denied 12 offences including six counts of rape against two victims.
He also made the decision to represent himself in court – delaying the trial which began in October and lasted six weeks.
On November 25 Anderson was convicted of six counts of rape, two counts of coercive control, two counts of sexual assault and one count each of blackmail and false imprisonment after a jury found him guilty of all 12 offences.
Detective Inspector Matt Hough, of Northumbria Police’s Rape Investigation Team, praised the support workers who helped the two victims alert the police of Anderson’s crimes.
He said: “Peter Anderson is a bully who manipulated, coerced and blackmailed his victims for his own sick gain.
“His victims were terrified to speak out against him but both were supported by those they confided in to come forward.
“These outstanding members of society, who showed such care and compassion, deserve credit for helping empower the victims.
“The trial was originally planned to last just one week but Anderson decided to sack his defence lawyers and represent himself in court, meaning it ended up spanning six weeks.
“As a Force, we are committed to protecting vulnerable victims and doing all we can to bring offenders to justice.
“We would always encourage anybody who has suffered any form of sexual or emotional abuse to report it to police.
“As this case highlights there are also various support services you can also turn for help – please reach out to someone.”