August 2016

Paedophile who filmed himself raping five-year-old girl had at least four other victims in Bristol


A paedophile who filmed himself raping a five-year-old girl has been jailed for 24 years.

Mark Hill took pictures of the sex acts he inflicted on the young girl as part of a string of sexual assaults he carried out on girls over a period of more than 30 years.

Bristol Crown Court heard the 53-year-old started to sexually abuse girls in his early 20s before he was arrested last year.

He was jailed for offences against three victims – but police say he abused at least two more.

Prosecutor Rupert Lowe told the court Hill’s dark secret was discovered when a video clip of him touching the five-year-old was found on his phone.

The girl’s mum told the court that her confident and happy girl had changed because of what Hill, previously of Station Road in Henbury, had done.

She said her daughter now had trouble sleeping and was often scared, emotional and crying.

She described the moment she found out about the filmed abuse as a “bad dream”, which left her feeling “completely helpless”.

The girl’s dad said he was “disgusted” by Hill’s actions in “destroying what was meant to be a happy childhood”.

Another of Hill’s victims, now in her 40s, said she lost herself, her innocence and trusting nature because of Hill.

She told the court: “I was never able to be myself again. I am no longer sure of who I am.

“The truth is, I will probably never fully recover and will spend the rest of my life trying to heal the damage that was done to me.”

Hill pleaded guilty to raping, sexually assaulting and making indecent images of the five-year-old.

A trial saw him convicted of five charges of indecent assault, one of indecency with a child and two charges of having sex with a girl under 13, relating to a victim who was aged between nine and 11 at the time.

HIll was also found guilty of four charges of having sexual activity with a third victim, when she was aged 13 or 14.

During the trial the jury heard how he had kissed one victim and sexually abused her with a pencil. He threatened to tell her mother in order to keep her silence.

The court heard that, two decades after his first offences, while in his 40s, Hill preyed on a young teenager, starting a sexually abusive relationship.

Defending, Emma Nott said Hill had written a letter of apology to the five-year-old girl and her family that was two pages long – but said she was sure it was not welcomed by the family.

Ms Nott said it was unclear how much impact a head injury in a car crash many years ago had had on Hill – telling the court his mum believed it had made him aggressive and more callous.

The court heard that for years Hill had been diagnosed with a number of mental health problems and personality disorders.

Hill must serve at least two thirds of his sentence in jail before he can be considered for parole. He must then serve an extra four years of extended licence past the end of the 24-year sentence, lasting until he is 81 years old.

He will also have to sign onto the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely and will be subject to an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

After the case, Avon and Somerset police said that Hill had preyed on at least five people in Bristol in total – four girls aged between five and 13 and a woman of 18.