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News Release

Sex attacker jailed.

Dated: 16 Dec 2010

A man who sexually assaulted a teenager he met on her way home has been jailed.

Robert John Gallagher, 22, of Howdon Road, North Shields, befriended the 16-year-old girl when she was waiting for a train at the Meadowell Metro Station.

He persuaded her to go outside the station with him and then sexually assaulted her and stole her mobile phone.

The incident happened just before midnight on Friday, July 23.

At Newcastle Crown Court today he was sentenced to 14 months after previously pleading guilty to sexual assault and theft.

DS Kimberley Flynn, of the Rape Investigation Team, said: “This was a horrible attack on a young woman and I would like to thank the victim and her family for supporting this investigation.

"I hope the sentence imposed today will help to give her some sense of closure and help her to move on with her life.

“I would also like to thank the witness who came forward with valuable information that has helped with this investigation.”

The Northumbria Police Rape Investigation Team was launched in October last year.

The team works closely with CPS barristers who specialise in rape prosecutions, Victim Support and the REACH centre to give an improved service to victims and bring more offenders to justice.

The force also has two Sexual Violence Advisers who can help victims with everything from housing, benefits, childcare and medical issues.