During the same hearing, Gray was also sentenced for contacting an underage decoy created by paedophile hunting groups Guardians of the North and DarkJustice on the app Whisper.

Mr Reid said that Gray had messaged the profile, purporting to belong to a 13-year-old girl called Chloe, using the name “chilled bloke” on several occasions and told her: “You have got to be 16 I think to be legal for sex. Not sure mind. Could be wrong.”


Gray, now 32, of Town End Farm, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to attempting to sexually communicate with a child at an earlier hearing and was found guilty of rape by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court

Judge Stephen Earl sentenced Gray to five years and four months in prison.

Judge Earl said the woman had reported the rape soon after it happened and said: “It is frankly reprehensible that the case was not taken forward at the time.”

He praised the victim’s bravery in making her statement and said at the trial she was “finally being able to tell her story before the court and the jury who frankly took little time to find this defendant guilty.”

He added that he did not accept that Gray was remorseful given that he did not take responsibility for what happened 15-years-ago.