'Warped and depraved' Sunderland child sex attacker caged for 15 years

Albert Wilcox
Albert Wilcox

A 'warped and depraved' serial sex attacker from Sunderland who targeted three victims has been jailed for more than 15 years.

Albert Wilcox confessed to a shocking series of sexual offences on child victims.

Newcastle Crown Court heard one teenager made a report and was interviewed by police about a sickening attack he had subjected her to but the case against him was dropped.

It was only when the most recent victim made a report that Wilcox had raped her that the case from twenty years ago was resurrected and he has now, finally, been brought to justice.

Wilcox, 55, of Clovely Road, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, admitted four offences of indecent assault in relation to a child he targeted when he was just a teenager himself.

He pleaded guilty to indecent assault carried out in relation to a teen who bravely made a report at the time despite being "scared" of Wilcox.

Wilcox 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 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."

Wilcox had faced further allegations relating to another three alleged victims but the offences were left on file after he admitted the 13 charges and will not be proceeded with.

Mr Recorder Ben Nolan QC sentenced Wilcox to 15 years and three months behind bars with an extended licence period of seven years.

The judge said Wilcox, who must now sign the sex offenders register for the rest of his life, poses a danger to the public and could serve the entire 15 years and three months in prison, unless the parole board decide he is safe to be back on the streets earlier.

Recorder Nolan told him: "It is difficult to imagine more warped and depraved behaviour.

"There is a significant risk of you causing serious harm to members of the public by committing further, serious, specified offences.

"You will only be released on licence when the parole board consider it safe to release you, if not you will spent the whole custodial term in prison."

Prosecutor Michael Hodson told the court one victim 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."

Tony Hawks, defending, said Wilcox has "lost everything" because of his own behaviour and had led an otherwise hard working life.

Mr Hawks added: "The defendant knows there is very little I can say.

"I cannot take issue with the fact he will be found to be dangerous."

Speaking after the sentencing, DCI Phil Bond, of Northumbria Police, said: "Police carried out a full investigation into allegations of indecent assault. Albert Wilcox was charged with these offences and put before the courts. Unfortunately, before the trial was due to begin, the victim was unable to give evidence and the trial did not go ahead.

"Earlier this year, we received reports of sexual offences, again naming Wilcox as a suspect. Officers not only investigated the new allegations but they also proactively revisited the case.

"They have worked extremely closely with all the victims and provided the utmost support to ensure they were all able to come forward and give evidence against Wilcox in court.

"The most important people in all of this are the victims and because of their bravery in giving evidence, this has ultimately led to the conviction of Wilcox and will now be spending a considerable amount of time behind bars."

Anyone who has been a victim of any sexual offence, recent or non-recent, is urged to come forward and report it to police or a third-party organisation or charity such as Victims First Northumbria.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "The victims in this case have shown incredible bravery in coming forward and recounting the terrifying experiences they endured.

"It is their courage in speaking out that has helped to ensure justice is finally served.

"Wilcox’s campaign of abuse will have had crushing effects on each of his victims and it’s important they continue to receive any support they need.

"Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence can speak to the NSPCC in confidence on 0808 8005000, while children seeking advice and support can contact Childline on 0800 1111."