2016 update: Wright has now been released on licence

March 2013

Burnhope man jailed for seven years over historic sex offences


A defendant described as a “quiet family man” has been jailed for seven years after he was convicted of a series of historic sexual offences.

Mark Wright’s crimes were accompanied by threats towards the victim “not to tell”, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Wright was found guilty of two rapes and three indecent assaults on a young girl following a trial, continued to deny the offences and was supported in court by several family members.

His barrister Andrew Finlay said he did not have an adult’s understanding of the offences at the time and all but one had been committed before he was aged 14.

Mr Finlay said Wright had been described as a quiet family man in a pre-sentence report and was in stable employment.

He said: “His current partner and two children will have to deal with the consequences of what he has done before he came to be the person he is now.”

Judge John Walford said 24-year-old Wright, of Beech Grove, Burnhope, County Durham, had persisted against the wishes of the victim.

He told him: “Had you been an adult when these offences were committed the sentence would have been measured in double figures.”

The judge said the least sentence he could pass was seven years. Wright will have to sign on the sex offenders register for life after he he released from prison at the end of his sentence.