June 2017

Former East Riding councillor jailed for child sex offences

A disgraced former councillor has been jailed for more than two years after being found guilty of indecently assaulting three girls.

Arthur Hodgson, 70, former Conservative member for South East Holderness at East Riding Council, arrived at court waving at photographers and protesting his innocence.

But he left in a prison van with his reputation “in ruins” after being convicted by a Hull Crown Court jury of three child sex offences spanning 20 years.

He was found not guilty of six other sex offences.

Hodgson, who was also a member of Humberside Fire Authority, and Keyingham Parish Council, was described by one victim as “domineering and intimidating”.

Jailing him for 27 months, Judge David Tremberg told him: “The court has seen and heard not one hint of acceptance, contrition, insight or remorse. In my judgement, no sentence other than immediate custody is appropriate to deal with matters of this seriousness.”

The most serious offence involved Hodgson pinning his victim down with her hands above her head and one foot over hers to “keep her still” while he assaulted her.

That was committed against a girl aged 11 or 12 and had come “under the guise of a children’s game”.

After describing what Hodgson had done to another girl, the judge said: “There was no room for misinterpretation of that. This was a humiliating and deeply upsetting experience for her.”

Another victim was assaulted after Hodgson had gone round on the pretext of fixing a computer. “Why should anybody think you could not be trusted?” the judge asked, rhetorically.

The court heard the victims had suffered emotional and psychological problems that had accompanied at least one into adulthood. They spoke of feeling “shame”, anxiety and loss of confidence, as well as experiencing flashbacks.

“The legacy of what you have done to these victims lives on,” the judge said.

He said Hodgson had caused “enduring substantial emotional distress”.

Hodgson, of Church Lane, Keyingham, must register as a sex offender for ten years.

The offences predated Hodgson’s election to East Riding Council in 2011.

The judge told him: “You are highly respected within the local community, or at least you have been, and your reputation is in ruins.”

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