July 2011

Weymouth man is jailed for underage sex offences

A WEYMOUTH man has been jailed for a string of sexual offences after women’s underwear and indecent images of a young girl were found under his bedroom carpet.

Aaron John Hawes, 26, admitted two charges of sexual assault on a child under 13, five charges of taking indecent photographs of a child and one charge of possession of indecent photographs of a child when he appeared at Dorchester Crown Court.

Judge Roger Jarvis sentenced Hawes to a total of 28 months in prison for the offences.

Prosecutor Jennie Rickman told the court how the offences came to light in the early part of 2010.

She said the defendant, who has learning and behavioural difficulties, was living in a Shared Live Scheme family home with a number of people with special needs when the offences took place.

She said the carers at the property were on holiday on February 23 last year and their sons were supervising the house, when one of them discovered a pornographic film under a chest of drawers in the defendant’s bedroom. She said he had a further look around the room and discovered further pornographic material and a number of ‘lad’s mags’ before his brother joined him in the bedroom.

Miss Rickman said: “They saw the carpet had been tampered with. They pulled the carpet back and found blank DVDs and other magazines.

“They found seven pairs of girls’ underwear and it was identified that these belonged to others in the property. They also found pictures of a lady, a digital camera and some memory sticks with pictures of a young girl. The defendant had taken photographs of her once her under garments were removed.”

Mary Aspinall-Miles, mitigating, said: “This is somebody who is in need of support, probably for the rest of his adult life.

“This case is unfortunate and very sad for everyone involved.”

She said to Judge Jarvis: “I am sure your Honour will appreciate he has saved a child the ordeal of having to give evidence and one would hope that this is a matter that she can put behind her and move forward.”

Miss Aspinall-Miles also read out a report about the defendant which stated that ‘while he may have a basic understanding of right and wrong, it is unlikely he will ever be able to wholly appreciate the consequences and harm that results from sexual offences’.

Judge Jarvis told the defendant: “Here you are at 26 years of age with no previous convictions, now admitting a number of serious matters.

“You are a young man who is totally entrenched with personal difficulties.

“These crimes are particularly distasteful because the community was looking after you.

“The way you repaid it was to abuse their trust.”

Judge Jarvis sentenced Hawes to 28 months in prison for a charge of sexual assault on a child under 13 and four charges of taking indecent photographs of a child.

He also sentenced him to two years for the further charge of sexual assault on a child under 13 and the further charge of taking indecent photographs of a child, plus eight months for the charge of possession of an indecent photograph of a child to be served concurrently.

Hawes has been put on the Sexual Offenders Register for 10 years and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order was imposed.