April 2018

Paedophile jailed for six years after indecently assaulting a 10-year-old boy

A convicted paedophile, who indecently assaulted a 10-year-old boy he intercepted as the child walked home from school, is now starting a six-year jail sentence

James Hodgetts deliberately targeted the victim after spotting him in a Sandwell street, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

The 28-year-old chatted with the lad for up to 10 minutes and walked down the road with him, pausing as the victim popped into a pizza parlour to collect a takeaway on September 20 last year.

CCTV film footage then showed the pair suddenly veer from the boy’s route home and head towards the flat where the defendant’s grandmother lives.

Once in the building, and out of sight of passers by, Hodgetts struck. He pulled down the trousers and pants of the child and indecently assaulted him, revealed Mr Nigel Stelling, prosecuting.

The attack was halted after a few minutes when the confused victim finally plucked up the courage to plead with the defendant to stop – and was then given £5 by the pervert, the court heard.

The victim did not mention what had happened until he was at school the following day, prompting an investigation by staff that led to police being alerted.

Hodgetts, who was brought up by his grandmother, was identified as the culprit and arrested.

He had been jailed for 18 months in July 2015 after sexually assaulting a boy aged under 13 in a case with disturbing similarities to the present one.

Hodgetts, from Sandon Road, Edgbaston, admitted sexually assaulting a child aged under 13 and breaching the Sexual Harm Prevention Order from the earlier case. He was given a six-year jail sentence with six years more supervision than is normal on release.

Judge Michael Challinor ruled the defendant represented a significant risk of causing serious harm through further sexual assaults on children and said: “This was a clear case of abduction. There is no difference as far as parents are concerned if the injured party is taken into a doorway or driven off in a car. He was only 10 and I am satisfied you targeted and groomed him. This sentence is for the protection of the public.

“You need to be confined for a long time time until the parole board think you are safe to release and will then have a six-year extension to your licence.”

Hodgetts was also made the subject of a new Sexual Harm Prevention Order that will last for 10 years.