March 2018

Paedophile who befriended holidaying families sentenced for boat assault on girl

hopcutt

A man already in jail for abusing young girls must serve another two years after being found guilty of another allegation against him.

Barry John Hopcutt, 60, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, had denied a charge of sexually assaulting a girl under 13 on a boat off the Anglesey coast more than a decade ago.

But, after a three-day trial, he was unanimously found guilty by the jury at Caernarfon Crown Courttoday.

Jailing him, Judge David Hale said: “You fought this case tooth and nail and you are not entitled to any credit. You have shown no remorse for what you did.

“You are already serving a seven-year sentence in prison for abusing girls.”

He ordered the two-year jail term be served consecutively to the sentence he is already serving.

A statement by the girl he abused, who is now an adult, was summarised by prosecutor Elen Owen.

“She speaks of feeling she no longer had a childhood and only ever felt safe in her parents’ company,” she said.

“As an adult, she feels anger and hatred towards the defendant who she believes took advantage of her innocence.”

Hopcutt’s barrister Sarah Jones asked the judge to take the lengthy period of time since the offences had taken place into account.

“He is now a much older man and his elderly mother is devastated by the evidence she heard in court,” she said.

“He can’t put that right for them or his victim.

“A prison sentence at his age is harsh by any measure.”

During the trial, the jury heard Hopcutt had a caravan at an Anglesey campsite and had befriended families holidaying there.

At a trial in June 2016, he denied charges of sexually abusing two young girls, but was convicted by a jury and jailed.

The latest allegation stemmed from the girl’s family becoming aware of Hopcutt’s conviction from press reports and alerting the police.

Hopcutt had taken the girl fishing with her parents’ knowledge and permission. His son, who was then aged nine, was also on board the boat.

Giving evidence, Hopcutt accepted he had taken the girl on the fishing trip but insisted nothing untoward had happened.

Hopcutt told the jury he continued to protest his innocence of the original charges.

Following the sentencing, DS David Owens said: “Offences such as these can be devastating for the victim, and I would like to thank the victim in this case for having the courage to come forward to see that Hopcutt faced justice for his crimes.

“North Wales Police will always pursue such criminals, no matter how much time has passed, to put them before the courts.

“Hopcutt is now where he belongs, behind bars.”

Speaking after the court case, the young woman’s mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that justice had been served.

She said: “Both her father and I are very proud of our daughter, who has been very brave all this time. With this verdict and sentence she can now begin to claim her life back.”

June 2016

Seven years for Anglesey caravan park paedophile

A man who befriended families holidaying at an Anglesey caravan park in order to sexually abuse young girls has been locked up for seven years.

Barry John Hopcutt from Macclesfield, Cheshire, had denied four charges of engaging children under 13 in sexual activity but a jury found him guilty after a trial.

The jury heard Hopcutt owned a caravan at the site near Holyhead and kept his boat nearby and would offer families trips in the vessel.

Two of the offences took place on the boat while another occurred in the awning of his caravan.

Sentencing the 59-year-old Judge Geraint Walters at Caernarfon Crown Court said: “You befriended parents with young families at the caravan park where you also had a caravan and was known as something of a character.

“You were liked by the parents, you were trusted. You are therefore a predatory individual who befriended families and when you gained their trust you abused it.”

During the trial Hopcutt claimed the allegations made against him by three young girls were false.

Hopcutt was acquitted of one charge.

Gareth Roberts, prosecuting, said two offences took place on board his boat while another offence took place in the awning of Hopcutt’s caravan.

The offences on the boat had been reported to police but the nine year old girl’s family, at that stage, decided not to press ahead with the complaint. When they heard of the latest allegations they reconsidered.

Victim Impact Statements by the victims’ parents read in court told of the long-lasting effects Hopcutt’s behaviour had had on their children.

Defence barrister Simon Rogers said that Hopcutt realised a jail term was inevitable.

“He is of previous good character and has a good work ethic. A custodial sentence, of any length, will be very difficult for him,” he said.

Hopcutt was jailed for four years for one of the offences and three years for the other. Both sentences to run consecutively.

In addition Hopcutt’s detail will remain on the sex offenders register for life and he must observe a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which prevents unsupervised access with children under 16. Hopcutt must also not work with children under 16.

Investigating Officer DC Shona Campbell at Caernarfon CID said: “Hopcutt is a sexual predator who exploited a two families who befriended him whilst holidaying in North Wales so he could target and abuse their children.

“The young victims and their families have been particularly brave and showed significant strength of character in coming forward to report what happened.

“The sentence rightly reflects the severity of Hopcutt’s crimes.”

Hopcutt (1)

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