April 2006

Paedophile jailed for repeated rape of girl

A known paedophile who repeatedly raped a nine-year-old girl despite being under community supervision was today jailed indefinitely for a minimum of five years and seven months.

Kevin Hazelwood, 40, was already on the Sex Offenders’ Register for downloading child pornography but was still able to subject the girl to a string of assaults.

He pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court on March 10 to six counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault, all on the same victim.

Hazelwood, of Oriental Place, Brighton, also admitted charges of sexual activity with or in the presence of a child under 13, historic assaults on a girl dating back to the 1980s and for making indecent movies of children.

A statement from the victim’s mother read: “How immensely proud I am of my daughter. The courage she displayed has been inspiring.

“Hazelwood has shocked me to the core.”

Judge Richard Hayward said Hazelwood was “cunning and manipulative” and was “unable or unwilling” to control his paedophile urges.

The court heard that in October 2002 Hazelwood was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register after pleading guilty at Guildford Crown Court to 20 specimen counts of making indecent pictures of children.

Judge Hayward told him: “Before anyone rushes to judgment on this issue, I must say that you alone are to blame.

“You are cunning and manipulative of people. You gave every indication of complying with the Sex Offenders’ Register and there is no reason why a hard-pressed probation officer or anyone else should know anything about it.”

He added: “You are a determined and predatory paedophile and you will remain a danger to young girls for the foreseeable future.”

Gillian Etherton, prosecuting, told the court how Hazelwood befriended the nine-year-old girl’s parents before using the relationship to “systematically sexually abuse” her from when she was about six to two weeks before his arrest in November 2005.

Miss Etherton said: “It would appear from a fairly early stage that the defendant took a keen interest (in the young girl).

“At face value he appeared to get on well with her and would say to her mother that he would in effect take her up to her room to give mum breathing space.”

The mother recalled that suggestions of sleepovers with the girl at Hazelwood’s home were always initiated by him, Miss Etherton said.

She added that the abuse came to light in November 2005 when the girl disclosed to her mother in conversation that “Uncle Kevin does it to me”.

“The mother immediately understood what the disclosure meant,” said Miss Etherton. The girl also disclosed that when she would cry while being abused, Hazelwood would “call her a baby”.

As a result of the girl’s conversation with her mother, police were brought in and in interview she said Hazelwood had subjected her to three years of abuse.

Miss Etherton said: “He would sometimes say to her ‘I’m bored, let’s play a game’ and he would often entice her with different games and presents.

“She described how she didn’t want any presents because they reminded her of him.”

The court heard that Hazelwood had taken indecent pictures of the girl and had threatened to send them to her mother if she failed to maintain her silence over the abuse.

Miss Etherton said: “She felt to some degree to blame and in trouble and to some degree explains her silence.”

Following the girl’s police interview in November 2005, Hazelwood was arrested and questioned but declined to comment except to admit abusing another young girl between 1981 and 1985.

The court heard how with this girl he would play a “game” called Hide The Marble involving hiding a marble in different orifices while he babysat her.

In interview, Hazelwood made a full admission to making indecent images, including taking pictures of the nine-year-old girl, which were later deleted.