September 2016

 Ex-policeman, 77, jailed over sex assaults on schoolgirl


A 77-year-old former police officer from Telford has been jailed for indecently assaulting a teenage girl.

Leslie Hood, who also served with distinction in the Royal Military Police on tours of the Far East, carried out a number of assaults on the girl, who was 15 at the time and cannot be named for legal reasons, in 1998.

He was arrested in 2014 after the victim reported the matter to police.

Hood, of Rushmore Lane, Bratton, was convicted by a jury of five counts of indecent assault at Shrewsbury Crown Court earlier this year.

He appeared back at court this week to be sentenced – and was jailed for three-and-a-half years by Mr Recorder Martin Jackson.

Mr Gareth Roberts, prosecuting, said Hood indecently assaulted the girl five times between March and September 1998, including twice in a barn and once in his bedroom.

On two of the occasions she was “pushed” either to the floor or onto the bed, the court was told.

Mr Roberts read out a victim impact statement from the woman, which said she had suffered with mental health issues and depression as a result of the assaults.

“Les is a predator,” she said. “If he can do it to me he can do it to somebody else. I hope he is sent to prison.”

Mr Hugh Williams, for Hood, said he had served in the army with the Royal Military Police for 20 years, before going on to work for the police in Birmingham for another 10 years.

Half of those were as a detective, Mr Williams said.

He told the court his client was in ill health and said: “He is somebody who is only going to have more serious illness as he gets older.

“There is a real risk that if this man gets an immediate prison sentence today, that he is not going to come out.”

But Recorder Jackson said he had no option but to impose a custodial sentence.

Jailing Hood, he said: “She was entitled not to be treated as an object for sexual gratification by an older man who ought to have known better.

“It would have been a frightening experience for her.

“It was not a one-off, and there was a degree of planning from you.

“These are, in my view, very serious offences.”

The court heard Hood had also worked for the former Wrekin Council.