May 2009

Pervert ‘living under self-imposed house arrest due to shame’

A MAN who abused a five-year-old Exeter girl is now living under self-imposed house arrest because of the shame of his crime, Exeter Crown Court has heard.

Brian Hudson whose last official address was Queensway, in Newton Abbott, sparked a police search when he went missing while on bail and his defence team claim he only leaves his house in darkness.

Hudson, 57, was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for two years, yesterday. He sat with his head bowed throughout the hearing.

He had been convicted of indecently abusing the girl in Exeter in the 1990s and a similar offence against a 12-year-old youngster in another part of the country in the 1980s, at a trial earlier this year.

Judge Graham Cottle also banned Hudson from working with children and imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, to both run until further notice.

The Echo reported that police launched a missing person investigation when Hudson disappeared last October year, while on bail.

Defence counsel Mary McCarthy said yesterday: “He could not face being seen by acquaintances let along strangers who were aware of the allegations so he stopped living at home and started living rough and was taken into custody as a result. He is worried about the allegations and shame.”

She added: “He is currently under self-imposed house arrest.”

She said he was in poor physical and mental health and added he recently crept out of his house in the early hours, waiting in a graveyard, until he could go to a probation appointment without being seen, then returned under the “cover of darkness”.

The court was told Hudson had no criminal record for similar offences but had served time in prison, including for having an offensive weapon.

Hudson’s offences were brought to police attention after the five-year-old confided in an adult that Hudson had touched her inappropriately.

He was acquitted of seven other sexual offences against three youngsters, including the girl from the other part of the country, at the trial.

Judge Cottle commented on how distressing the two incidents that Hudson was convicted of must have been for the girls.

Referring to the Exeter victim, who is now an adult, he said: “I remember her as a very slight, extremely nervous woman who clearly felt it difficult to deal with the problem of giving evidence in court.”

Commenting on the other victim, he told Hudson: “The offence against her was horrible and abhorrent. She clearly recalls the incident and still suffers from the memory of it.”

He added that the defendant must keep his address on the Sex Offender Register for the next 10 years.