June 2020

Paedophile pensioner given more prison time after he admits sexual assaults on third girl

A pensioner in prison for molesting two girls must serve more time after a third girl came forward saying: “The same thing happened to me.”

Peter Hughes, 70, was jailed for five years and eight months in December 2017 for sexually assaulting two girls, decades apart.

Three months after he was locked up, another girl told a councillor about what happened to her, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The distressed girl told how Hughes repeatedly touched her several years ago when she was underage.

He urged her not to tell anyone as it was a “secret”, said prosecutor Andrew Espley.

Hughes “absolutely denied” the assaults to police, insisting he did nothing untoward.

When his wife visited him in prison in May 2018, he confessed to her that it did happen, though he disputed the extent and number of assaults.

“He denied any sort of sexual interest in children,” added Mr Espley.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told in an eloquent statement of her feelings of vulnerability, fear, discomfort, anxiety and self-blame.

She said: “I kept the secret for many years. I experienced so many different emotions over the years about what happened and what he did to me.

“It’s affected me in ways I never thought it would.

“When I’m around people I’m constantly thinking about the way I act towards them because I don’t want anything like this to happen to me again.”

The girl added: “When I realised what he did was wrong I went over things in my head, constantly thinking if there was anything that I’d done to cause what happened to me.

“Now I know I didn’t do anything to cause what happened. I was so young. I couldn’t have.

“I’m filled with dread when I think about the time he’s released from prison. Even though I know he can’t come and get me, I’m scared.”

She said her mental health, education, relationships and sleep were affected by her experiences as a child.

“I just don’t know how to deal with my emotions,” she added.

“This is something that will never go away. This is something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life.

“He has hurt me deeply in pretty much all aspects of my life.”

Hughes, formerly of Coatham Road, Redcar but whose address is now recorded in court as prison, admitted one sexual assault charge.

Judge Paul Watson QC said sentencing was difficult because the offence happened before Hughes was jailed for his other crimes.

He said he had to consider what the sentence would have been if Hughes had been dealt with for all offences at the same time.

Hughes was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

This will be added to his current sentence, bringing his total jail term to just over eight years.

As an “offender of particular concern”, Hughes will have an extra year’s licence after his release

December 2017

‘Guilty secrets’ catch up with pensioner who still claims abuse victim was ‘willing participant’

A pensioner who molested two young girls – and still claims one of them was a “willing participant” in his abuse – is behind bars today.

Peter Hughes’ past finally caught up with him as he faced justice for his “guilty secret”, a court heard.

The 67-year-old sexually assaulted one underage girl almost four decades ago, when he was in his 30s, by kissing her, touching her and getting her to touch him.

She did not remember him groping her but he confessed to doing so in a police interview, Teesside Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, revealed what he did at the time but was “disappointed” when nothing was done about it, said prosecutor Ian West.

The fact he “got away with it for so long” caused her anger and anguish in the years that followed, she later said in a statement.

“I’m relieved and grateful that he will answer for it now,” she added.

She told how the crimes “scarred” her as an adult, clouding her relationships with others and affecting her trust and feelings of self-worth.

“As a mother I feel sickened that an adult should take advantage of innocent children in this way. I hope he’ll reflect on the damage he’s caused me,” she said.

Hughes sexually assaulted another young girl last year, telling her it would be a secret.

That girl’s mother said she did not understand the gravity of what happened to her yet, but the crime had a “devastating” impact and far-reaching repercussions.

Hughes, of Coatham Road, Redcar, admitted one charge of sexual assault, four of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.

John Nixon, defending, said: “He’s a man without previous convictions of any kind, but of course he had this guilty secret about what happened all those years ago.

“He was married, hard-working, self-employed and supported his family well, both financially and spiritually.

“He made full admissions in relation to all offences. He entered pleas at the earliest possible opportunity.

“He has clearly expressed genuine contrition. He has made a clean breast of everything knowing that his life will never be the same again.”

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, expressed “deep concern” about the attitudes Hughes showed to a probation officer.

He said Hughes did not consider his behaviour to the first victim abusive, felt they would have limited impact and, in his eyes, she was a “willing participant”.

The judge reminded Hughes of her young age at the time, saying: “There was nothing willing about it whatsoever.

“On the other hand there is without doubt the fact of a degree of genuine remorse as to what you’ve done, because you admitted the offences straight away and made further admissions to a doctor in Roseberry Park.”

He told Hughes he had to bear full responsibility for the devastating effects of his actions, and jailed him for five years and eight months.

Hughes was given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order banning him governing his contact with under-16s.

November 2017

Pensioner facing jail after admitting schoolgirl sex assaults

A pensioner is facing jail after admitting sex assaults on two schoolgirls .

Peter Hughes, 67, from Redcar, was given the news yesterday by Teesside’s most senior judge.

Hughes pleaded guilty to seven sex charges, ranging in date from September 1979 to August 2016, at Teesside Crown Court at an early stage plea and trial preparation hearing.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault, four of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.

Hughes, of Coatham Road, Redcar, was remanded on bail for a pre-sentence report and sentencing on Tuesday, December 19.

Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, told him: “You have had the good sense to plead guilty.

“The fact that I am adjourning it for you to see a probation officer should not lead you to think that anything other than a custodial sentence will be considered.”