Rapist police officer given two life sentences

POLICE pervert Stephen Mitchell may never be released from prison after he was given two life sentences for rape this week.

The former Northumbria Police Officer was found guilty of rape, indecent assault and misconduct in a public office after a five week trial at Newcastle Crown Court towards the end of last year.

Mitchell, who lived in Whitley Bay while working at Pilgrim Street Police Station in Newcastle, was told he would serve a minimum of seven and a half years by Mr Justice Wilkie when he was sentenced on Tuesday.

But the judge added that he would only be released when the parole board was satisfied that it is safe in the public interest to release him on license, and said: “That may not be for many years, if ever.”

While serving as an officer Mitchell would befriend vulnerable women who he came across in police custody and would offer them drugs and money in return for sexual favours.

He would also turn up to their homes, and in some instances he would drive them to various locations and rape his victims.

In summing up his sentence, Mr Justice Wilkie said: “So cowed and downtrodden by their experiences of life and by your influence were these seven different women, that they did not feel able to report what you had done until given the opportunity to by the police investigation into your activities years later.”

He said that Mitchell used methods which were abusive or corrupt in themselves or which involved gross distortion of proper police practice to try to manipulate them and get them to do his bidding in order to provide sexual pleasure for himself.

He added: “I am satisfied that you are a manipulative and driven person and the fact that you would not be a police officer would not significantly diminish the risk of harm you would pose to adult women.”

During the trial Mitchell denied the allegations and said he was the victim of lies amongst the criminal fraternity of Newcastle, but a jury convicted him of 11 charges.

Following the sentence, CPS Crown Advocate Paul Simpson said: “Stephen Mitchell is a sexual predator.

“He used and abused his position as a police officer to target vulnerable women for his own sexual gratification.

“The sentence imposed today reflects the gravity of his offending and recognises the danger he poses to women.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victims in this case. In giving evidence and re-living some of the darkest days of their lives they showed immense courage. Without them this prosecution could not have been brought.”