'It's the only way out': Paedophile pensioner wrote farewell note before failed suicide bid after victims reported historic sexual abuse

A paedophile pensioner who apologised to a victim in a farewell note before attempting suicide has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 9:39 am

Stuart Hodgson, 74, initially denied abusing two young girls in the late 1980s and early 1990s after they both found the courage to contact police in 2018.

Leeds Crown Court heard Hodgson then tried to take his own life with an overdose of paracetamol, leaving the note for his wife to find.

Anthony Dunne, prosecuting, said the abuse of one girl started when she was just six years old and involved Hodgson forcing the youngster to carry out sex acts.

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Paedophile Stuart Hodgson was jailed for 11 years and eight months for indecently assaulting girls in the 1980s and 1990s

The victim, who gave a video statement to police, said the abuse stopped when she was 10 or 11.

However, the court was told that another young girl was also targeted by twisted Hodgson, telling police that it began with tickling when she was eight year-old but then descended into sex acts.

It was after the second victim stepped forward that Hodgson was found by his wife unresponsive with his suicide note nearby.

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After being saved, he admitted abusing the second girl but said it was "by accident" during play.

He continued to deny the abuse of the first girl, but eventually changed his pleas to guilty just before she was due to give evidence in court.

Hodgson, of The Avenue, Outwood, Wakefield, admitted a total of eight indecent assault offences.

Michael Collins, mitigating, said that Hodgson, who is in poor physical health and uses a walking stick, felt such shame that his "first reaction was to attempt to take his own life".

Mr Collins said that since the allegations were made his life had come to a standstill but admitted he "only has himself to blame".

"You have no convictions up until now, but there is a sense that you held a very, very dark secret for many years.

"You lived, on the face of it, a blameless life."

Recorder Gordon said that the effects on the two girls he preyed on would be considerable, and said they may never make a full recovery.

Hodgson was jailed for 11 years and eight months.

He was also made the subject of sexual harm prevention order (SHPO), banning himfrom having any unsupervised contact with anyone under the age 16.