A rapist who stalked a girl of 15 before dragging her into bushes was today behind bars.
David Irving, 27, whose partner was pregnant at the time of the rape, was jailed for 10 years and put on the sex offender register for life following the terrifying attack.
His victim, described as a model schoolgirl, had been with her boyfriend but was alone as she headed down Station Road, Wallsend, North Tyneside, a jury at Newcastle Crown Court was told.
She heard footsteps behind her as she passed the town’s Buddle Arts Centre.
And moments later Irving struck as she moved onto a footpath behind Wallsend Ex-Servicemen’s Social Club.
The court heard how Irving, who had been on a five-hour booze binge, stifled the terrified girl’s screams with his hand and told her he had a knife.
He forced her sobbing onto the muddy ground and repeatedly raped and molested her. She was also ordered to perform a sex act.
Staff at the club called police after the traumatised girl, covered in mud, ran in to beg for help.
Police arrested Irving at his home in Woodside Avenue, Walker, Newcastle, just hours later.
Investigating officer Det Con Chris Forster today welcomed the sentence and said: “I’m pleased with the sentence. It’s totally justified by the nature of this attack.
“It was a prolonged attack of about 15 to 20 minutes.
“This girl is a model schoolgirl and she and her family have been absolutely traumatised.
“She has shown great courage, going on to sit her GCSEs.
“But she and her family are still having counselling. This incident has shocked the community.”
Irving had been rowing with his girlfriend, who was three months pregnant at the time.
He had been out drinking and smoking cannabis since about 1pm on the day of the attack.
Irving, who denied rape but was convicted by a majority jury vote, claimed he had bumped into the girl and that she had asked him for cannabis.
He had downed up to eight points of lager and said his victim agreed to go with him into bushes and had been a willing partner for sex.
But the evidence of a passing taxi driver nailed his lies.
The driver told the court how Irving ignored him when he tooted to offer him a lift and seemed to be in a world of his own.
Det Con Forster said: “It was mainly through the taxi driver that we were able to arrest Irving just two or three hours after the offence.
“It helped the case that so many people came forward and came forward quickly. That led to us tracking Irving down.”
Jailing him, Judge John Milford said the 10-year sentence was based on the facts that the girl had been just 15, that Irving had threatened violence and that he abducted her and had sex with her three times.