September 2016

Smirking child sex abuser Gary Hopkins jailed for 12 years

A smirking pensioner found guilty of committing child sexual abuse has been jailed for 12 years today.

Gary Hopkins, 74, from Mold, bribed the girl, then aged eight, into performing sexual acts on him. He told her that it was their little secret and handed over small amounts of money.

The victim, now in her late 20s, told how the abuse continued for four years and from the age of 12 she turned to drink to blot out the memory of what was happening to her.

At one stage she had contemplated suicide because of her experiences, Mold crown court heard.

Hopkins, of Bromfield Park, was in his 50s at the time of the attacks, which dated back to the 1990s. He denied all the charges,

The Judge, Mr Recorder Gregg Bull QC, told the defendant he was man who had shown no remorse and accused him smirking throughout the proceedings.

He said: “You ruined her life. She has still not recovered from what you did to her.

“In my judgment, you knew that she was a lonely, vulnerable child. You began to groom her for sexual favours,” he said.

He told her that what they were doing was their secret and that she was not to tell anyone.

The judge told him that during the course of the trial he had shown no remorse.

“I must say that I noticed during the trial , for much of her evidence, you had a smirk on your face.

“Whether that was a nervous smirk or done to intimidate her, I do not know,” he said.

Hopkins must also serve an additional two years on licence – officially making it a 14 year sentence.

In August he denied three specimen charges of indecency with a child, and two charges of indecent assault.

Prosecuting barrister Anna Pope read out a victim impact statement in which the woman said she had been admitted to hospital on several occasions and suffered from depression.

She struggled to put into words the true effect of the offences upon her.

John Hedgecoe, defending, said that his client denied all allegations during the trial.

He stressed that he was a man of no previous convictions – the offences were a long time ago and he had not offended before or since.

The court should take into account his age and health but his client appreciated that he was to receive a lengthy sentence, he said.

He was going to find it extremely difficult to cope in custody.

“It is very much going to be a life-changing experience for him,” said Mr Hedgecoe.