April 2019

After more than two years, Middlesbrough man is brought to justice over sex attack on 13-year-old

A Middlesbrough man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

Lee Cope was found guilty after a trial at Teesside Crown Court on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old, of Lambton Road, Grove Hill , sexually assaulted the young girl in early 2017.

Sentencing, which will take place at Newcastle Crown Court, was adjourned until July 3.

At his appearance at Teesside Magistrates’ Court in August last year, District Judge Kristina Harrison decried the lack of progress that had been made in the case.

She asked prosecutor Ansab Shan why no evidence had been presented to the court after almost 20 months, and said: “These are the most serious cases and nobody serves the evidence or does anything about it.

“How have we got to the point where, almost two years later, there is no evidence here?”