Febuary 2005

Man jailed for sex attacks on schoolgirl

A SEX attacker was jailed for three years yesterday for indecent assaults on a schoolgirl.

John Hodgson, 40, from Darlington, admitted the offences when arrested last year.

He pleaded guilty to three specimen charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault, and appeared in court to be sentenced yesterday.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court that the offences were committed between November 1998 and November last year.

He said Hodgson would touch the girl’s leg and move his hand towards her private parts. Paul Cleasby, for Hodgson, said: “These offences, in a physical capacity, were at the lower end of the scale for offences of indecency, without trying to minimise the serious aggravating features that are present.”

A letter handed to the judge from Hodgson told of his remorse and shame, and Mr Cleasby told Judge George Moorhouse how his client hoped to undertake sessions to help his rehabilitation.

He said: “He does not want simply to tick a box to say he has done a course. He genuinely does not want to re- offend.”

Hodgson, of Chandos Street, was banned from working with children for life and had his name added to the sex offenders’ register.

Judge Moorhouse said: “I have a duty to ensure that people who behave in this way are deprived of their liberty.”