June 2016

Paedophile jailed for 23 years for string of sex attacks on two young girls


A paedophile who subjected two young girls to a campaign of sexual abuse has been jailed for 23 years.

Robert Hodgson repeatedly abused the youngsters in a series of sex attacks, starting when they were as young as six.

A court heard one of the victims attempted suicide twice in later life as a result of her abuse.

Now the 66-year-old, of Windermere Terrace, Stanley, County Durham has been locked up after a jury convicted him of 16 sexual offences, including one of rape.

Sentencing him to 23 years behind bars with an additional two years on licence after that, Judge Simon Hickey praised the victims’ bravery.

He told Hodgson: “You could have pleaded guilty and spared both these girls their ordeal of reliving their abuse.

“I watched them give their evidence, they showed impressive courage and dignity in doing so, but it came at a great cost to both of them.”

The first victim was assaulted by Hodgson “in a variety of ways”, starting at the age of six and culminating in him raping her when she was 11-years-old.

The court was told how Hodgson groomed the youngster by putting on explicit pornographic videos and making her copy what she saw.

Hodgson would give the girl money, and sometimes beer, for “being good”, and the abuse became more frequent as she grew older.

Judge Hickey told him: “You were grooming this little girl and making her feel special.

“It was against this background when, aged only 11, you raped her, with the words: ‘You’re a big girl, now we can try it.’”

The judge said that the victim started to self-harm before attempting suicide twice, and remains “incapable of forming proper loving relationships even now”.

In the case of the second victim, Durham Crown Court heard that Hodgson planned for her to be alone with him, and subjected her to a series of sex attacks between the ages of six and 11.

As well as the prison sentence, Hodgson was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and a restraining order.