March 2007

Paedophile’s rape victim was just 10

A 27-year-old man who raped a girl of ten and sexually abused three others as young as nine has been jailed for eight years.

The paedophile’s young victim still wakes shouting and screaming because of nightmares about the attack, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Adam Hewitt, of Fairfax Avenue, Bierley, Bradford, stripped naked before lying on top of one of the girls, forcing her to perform a sex act on him which legally constituted a rape.

A few days later he dragged the same girl into his bedroom, pulled down his trousers and underwear and again laid on top of her, but she managed to escape.

The court was told that he exposed himself to other girls and had put pornographic images on a computer for them to see.

None of the victims can be identified for legal reasons.

Judge Christopher Prince praised all the victims for the way they had dealt with the case and the courage they had shown in giving evidence against Hewitt.

He also referred to victim impact statements the girls had made in which one described how she still suffers from nightmares because of what Hewitt had done to her. She had said that she woke shouting and screaming and could no longer trust anyone.

In her statement she said: “I cannot properly get it out of my head but at least I know he’s going to prison, I will have less nightmares now.”

Another victim was said to have been “outspoken and lively” but was now terrified to be alone.

After the case, the father of one of the girls, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “We are pleased with the result of the case but we wish we hadn’t had to be here in the first place.

“It is a horrible situation for a parent to be in.”

Detective Constable Neil Sharpe, of Bradford South CID, who investigated the case, said: “The outcome of this difficult and emotional investigation was extremely satisfying for the families and, more so, for the children themselves.

“This has been an unforgivable experience. Nevertheless I hope the result will help them with the support needed to live their lives to the full.”

The court was told by Hewitt’s barrister, Gerald Hendron , that he still denied committing the offences and claimed to have been “set up.”

But Judge Prince said he had been convicted on “absolutely compelling” evidence and added: “It’s not uncommon for people in your position to continue to deny for a period of time that they committed such offences.

“The sooner you come to terms with what you did the sooner you can address the issues within yourself.”

The judge commended the officers involved in the case and said he hoped it would bring other victims of sexual abuse to contact police.

He also praised the young victims.

“I suspect that it is only when these children grow older that they will appreciate how proud of themselves they should be in coming to court,” he said.