October 2017

‘Vile’ paedophile who sexually abused four children has been jailed for 12 years

A ‘VILE’ paedophile who sexually abused four children has been jailed for 12 years.

Burnley Crown Court heard John Hatch gave one of his child victims £10 after sexually abusing her and told her he would kill her if she ever told anyone what had happened.

After sexually abusing a male victim the 68-year-old, of Dawlish Close, Blackburn, would ‘reward’ him with sweets or fruit, the court heard.

A third victim was also given bottles of pop by Hatch and warned if she ever told anyone what had happened he would kill her mother.

Prosecuting, Kathryn Johnson said the historical offences involved three girls and one boy.

The youngest of the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were just five-years-old when the abuse started.

The court heard that one of Hatch’s victims had complained to the police about Hatch’s abuse in 1997 but at that time he was only given a caution.

It wasn’t until a second victim came forward in 2014 that a full-scale investigation was launched. Hatch was arrested and interviewed in 2015 and 2016 in relation to the abuse.

Ms Johnson said: “He denied that he had ever abused any of the complainants at all.”

Hatch had denied committing any of the offences when he appeared before Blackburn magistrates and it was only one week before his trial was due to start on September 4 that he finally admitted his guilt.

Hatch pleaded guilty to five counts of indecency with a child and six indecent assaults.

In victim impact statements read out in court by Ms Johnson all of the the victims, who are now adults, spoke of how their childhood had been ruined by Hatch’s abuse, with most of them becoming distant and ‘easy targets for bullies’.

They also spoke of how they were left with trust issues which impacted upon their adult relationships.

Summarising a statement from one of the victims, Ms Johnson, said: “She describes being reclusive and a target for bullies. She describes having no friends and feeling very vulnerable.

“The abuse affected her confidence and she fell into abusive relationships.

“When she went to the police she believed she was the only person making a complaint. She felt blame others had been victims of abuse at the defendant’s hands.”

Jailing Hatch, Judge Gibson said: “The victims who were all young at the time are now adults. The affects of your sexual abuse on them has been enduring. More than one have said in their victim impact statement that the effects on them are the same as suffering a life sentence.”

Hatch was ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for life and given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him from having unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16.