The victims of a sex offender have been praised for their bravery after they helped to put their abuser behind bars for the next decade.

John Robert Hood, 42, was jailed for 10 and a half years after a jury found him guilty of a number of historic sex offences dating more back than 20 years, including sexual assault and gross indecency on a child under 14 years old.

He was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, November 11 after his crimes came to light when one victim came forward and opened up about the abuse she suffered at his hands.

During the investigation another victim came forward and shed light on further offences.

Officers from Northumbria Police’s safeguarding department have praised the victims, and thanked them for taking the brave decision to speak out against their abuser.

Detective constable Karin McMorrow said: “These two victims have shown immense courage in their decision to come forward and speak out about what was no doubt one of the most traumatic and distressing periods of their lives.

John Robert Hood, 42, was jailed for 10 and a half years

“I want to thank them for their incredible bravery as by coming forward they have enabled us to bring a manipulating and dangerous man before the courts and be jailed for his despicable actions. Hood preyed on these innocent victims and we must ensure he will never be allowed to be in this position again.

“We know no sentence will ever take away the pain and suffering endured by Hood’s victims, but we are pleased he is behind bars where he is unable to hurt anyone else.”

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Hood, from Front Street, Sacriston, was found guilty of a total of 10 charges, including four counts of indecent assault on a girl under 14, one count of gross indecency with a child under 14 and three counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13-17.

As well as his prison term, Hood will remain on the sex offenders register indefinitely and was given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and restraining order against his victims.

Anyone who has been victim of rape, sexual assault or abuse, recent or historic, is asked to contact police on 101 or report via the Tell Us Something page of the Northumbria Police website. Always call 999 in an emergency.