January 2017

Man who groped young girl escapes jail AGAIN despite Solicitor General attacking ‘lenient’ sentence


A man from Cleethorpes who groped a ten-year-old girl has escaped jail for a second time.

Ian David Hopson, 59, was handed a suspended sentence after putting his hand down the shocked youngster’s top and saying, “just let me have a feel.”

Hopson, of Dolphin Street, was given a two-year term, suspended for two years, after being convicted of sexually assaulting a child.

He was sentenced at Grimsby Crown Court in November last year, having earlier been found guilty at magistrates’ court.

However, the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC, today attacked the sentence as far too soft at London’s Appeal Court.

His lawyers argued that Hopson should never have been allowed to walk free and referred the case for top judges to look at again.

But Lord Justice McCombe again spared Hopson, saying that whilst his crime was “unpleasant and serious”, he did not deserve to be jailed.

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Haddon-Cave and Judge Paul Batty, heard that Hopson first approached the girl and offered her a pound to go into a shed with him.

When she refused, he grabbed her and put his hand down her top.

The child later told her mother, and the police arrested Hopson, who denied any wrongdoing.

However, he was found guilty of molesting the girl.

His lawyers today pointed to medical problems that made it diffcult for him to walk.

The judges were told he had “lost everything”, having been estranged from his family and lost his home as a result of his conviction.

Refusing to up the sentence, Lord Justice McCombe said: “This was a short incident, unpleasant and serious as it was.

“In the circumstances, we consider that the judge was not in error in deciding that the appropriate sentence was two years, suspended for two years.

“This sentence was, as some sentences sometimes are, lenient. But it was not unduly lenient,” the judge concluded.

November 2016

Angry threats as man who groped young girl after offering her £1 to go in shed is spared jail

Shouting and abusive swearing turned things very nasty in a courtroom when a man who molested a young girl was spared prison.

Hostile insults and menacing threats were angrily hurled at him by women and a man sitting in the public gallery just a few feet away.

Ian Hopson, 59, of Dolphin Street, Cleethorpes, denied sexually assaulting a girl under 13 in early August last year.

He was convicted after a trial at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court and was later committed to Grimsby Crown Court for sentence.

Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, said the girl was playing football with a young boy.

Hopson offered her £1 to go inside a shed with him. She refused but he went inside there.

He came outside a few minutes later and then molested the girl

He told her: “Let me have a little feel. Did you enjoy that?”

The girl ran into a nearby house and sent a message on a mobile phone to her mother. 

As a result of the incident, he had already suffered because of the bad reaction of others and his health had deteriorated.

Judge Simon Jack told Hopson: “It was an opportunist offence. She was there in the garden and you took advantage of a fleeting opportunity to sexually assault her.

“I accept you have already suffered great punishment. You have already paid a high price.”

Hopson was given a two-year suspended prison sentence, 50 days’ rehabilitation and a six-month 8pm to 8am curfew.

He was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years and was given a ten-year sexual harm prevention order.

Fury erupted in the public gallery when Hopson was spared prison.

One man stormed out, loudly slamming two doors, and a woman swore and shouted: “I don’t believe this. He’s not getting away with it.”

Another woman said: “It’s disgusting.”

Threats were made to him as he left the dock, with a woman swearing loudly at Hopson and yelling: “You wait.”

Another man had to be restrained by an usher as he tried to approach Hopson in the courtroom and menacingly warned him: “I’ll see you later.”

Judge Jack told Hopson: “You can see what other people think of you and that’s entirely understandable.”

Security staff were outside the courtroom door to deal with any problems when the case finished.