Tyne & Wear

Spencer Barella jailed for 10 years for Sunderland rape

Spencer Barella Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Spencer Barella was jailed for 10 years

A man has been jailed for 10 years for raping and sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Sunderland.

Spencer Barella, 21, of Crossways, Sunderland, was found guilty of rape and two counts of sexual assault at Newcastle Crown Court.

He was arrested as part of Operation Sanctuary, a wide-ranging investigation into sex crimes against vulnerable women and girls in Tyneside.

Police described the victim as a "young girl" who was "vulnerable".

Dep Ch Con Steve Ashman said: "Barella used the fact that this teenager was under the influence of alcohol to his own advantage as she would have been in no fit state to stop him.

"I hope today's conviction comes as a warning to others who target vulnerable women and abuse them for their own gratification that they will be arrested and dealt with."

He praised the victim for her bravery in coming forward.

More than 40 people have been charged and 120 arrested as part of Operation Sanctuary since it launched in January last year.

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