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 Jail for rapist who deliberately targeted lone woman at night


​A man who lured a woman into an alleyway as she walked alone at night and raped her has been jailed.

Alexander Neil Dixon was said to have been driving around the Bishop Auckland area looking for a potential victim when he saw the woman, who was walking along Cockton Hill Road late on the evening of October 27 last year.

The 38-year-old pulled up in a nearby street, got out and began to engage the woman in conversation.

He then lured her into an alleyway where he pinned her against the wall and sexually assaulted her, before raping her, despite her repeatedly telling him to stop.

As he left the scene, he let out a “psychotic, high-pitched laugh” and his terrified victim then phoned the police.

Within 48 hours, he was identified by officers and arrested. He was later charged with rape and assault by penetration. 

Due to the “overwhelming” evidence secured by police, he pleaded guilty to both offences and appeared at Durham Crown Court via video link for sentencing yesterday (January 13).

Dixon, of Newlands Rise, Ferryhill, was handed a 15 year prison sentence – nine years of which must be served in custody, while six will be spent on licence.

He was also banned from driving for 19 years, and was placed on the Sex Offender Register and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, both for life.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Gosling, who led the investigation, said: “The victim in this case has suffered a horrendous ordeal and will have to deal with the effects of it for the rest of her life.

“I hope this sentence gives her some hope and brings her the closure she needs to move forward in the future.

“She has shown tremendous strength throughout the investigation and she can now begin to move forward without fear, knowing Dixon has received a substantial custodial sentence.

“I also hope this sentence will help to reassure the local community - this was an isolated incident and through a thorough police investigation a very dangerous offender has been identified and brought to justice.”