Sex attacker jailed for 24 years after raping girl
A detective has praised the bravery of a victim of sex attacks after her evidence led to a rapist being locked up for nearly a quarter of a century.
David Dibell's victim required surgery after he hit her during his attacks.
Dibell, 27, of Broadmeadows, Washington, denied the offences when he stood trial at Durham Crown Court.
But he was found guilty of six charges, including rape of a child, sexual assault and GBH with intent, and is now beginning 24 years behind bars.
Dibell, who was living in the Durham City area at the time of the offences, was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.
Police began an investigation after the extent of her injuries and bruising alarmed hospital staff.
She later revealed what had happened to specialist support officers.
Detective Constable Claire Trewick, of Durham Constabulary, said: “This was a truly appalling crime and I am delighted at the lengthy sentence which has been handed down by the court.
"It will give David Dibell many years to think about the dreadful damage he has done.”
Det Con Trewick also praised the victim and her family ‘for having the courage to stand up to this man and bring him to justice’.
She added: "Hopefully they can now begin to get on with the long process of rebuilding their lives.
“Finally, I would like to say to anyone who is suffering sexual abuse in silence. You are not alone and there is hope. Our officers are ready to listen and willing to help.”
Anyone wishing to report sexual offences should call Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding teams on 101.