A MAN who repeatedly raped a teenage girl has been jailed for 19 years.
Andrew Morton committed the offences after he was released from a 10-year prison sentence for raping young girls, Durham Crown Court heard.
The judge in the case ordered that he should not be released until officials believe he is no longer a threat to girls.
Morton’s latest victim was commended by Judge Christopher Prince for saying she was determined to see the case through to prevent what happened to her happening to other girls.
Morton, from Blackhall, stood trial earlier this year, but refused to come to court to hear his sentence.
“He was keen enough to use the court system to attempt to evade conviction,” said Judge Prince.
“It seems cowardly not to come to court for sentence, perhaps he cannot bear to look his victim in the eye.
“She, on the other hand, has behaved with commendable maturity in seeing this case through.
“Some people have courage, some do not.”
Prosecuting, Shaun Dodds told the court Morton befriended teenage girls locally, telling them he was 19 when he was 32.
The court heard the girl was physically subdued by Morton and she was threatened so she would not tell anyone what had happened.
“A common feature of both this case and the previous one is that he appears to gain a thrill from the possibility of being caught,” said Mr Dodds.
“He subdued his victim by taking hold of the throat or covering her mouth.
“Threats were then used to prevent her telling anyone what had happened.”
Morton, who most recently moved to Hull, was convicted of four charges of rape, one charge of sexual activity with a child, and two charges of inciting a child to commit a sex act.
Judge Prince jailed him for 19 years, plus an extended licence period of five years.
The judge said Morton should only be released when the Parole Board is satisfied he no longer presents a danger to children.