April 2007

Rapist jailed indefinitely

A sex attacker who raped two schoolgirls has been jailed indefinitely.

Jason Murtha targeted the youngsters when both girls were under 10 years old.

Murtha was convicted of rape after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

His victims re-lived their ordeals by giving evidence against him.

Judge David Wood said Murtha can not even be considered for parole until he has served at least seven-and-a-half years in jail.

He said: “Frankly, there are no mitigating features in your case, but there are a number of aggravating ones.

“The pre-sentence report describes you as high risk of causing serious harm to female children and the sex offender treatment report places you at medium risk.”

 The judge said once Murtha is released he will be registered as a sex offender for life and has been banned from ever working with children.

He added: “You will not be automatically released at the conclusion of the seven-and-a-half year period, it will be for the parole board to decide that.”

Murtha, 33, of Wear Street, Sunderland, denied rape throughout the trial but was found guilty by a jury.