January 2023

Martial arts pensioner caught after watching sickening videos of girls being abused

A 71-year-old pensioner who downloaded photos and watched videos showing young girls being raped, has avoided a prison sentence.

Edward Hodgson, a martial arts enthusiast, was caught after police acting on intelligence, turned up at his Middlesbrough home on December 21, 2021.

Teesside Crown Court heard that Hodgson told them: “I have viewed child abuse images and it was on my Acer laptop.” Officers uncovered two “category A” videos – showing the most serious level of sexual abuse and an image.

They also found three more category B photos depicting young girls being sexually abused. Hodgson had been watching a five-year-old girl being raped and another girl thought to be between 10 and 12.

Hodgson, of Columbine Close, Marton, in Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to two counts of making indecent images. He has no previous criminal convictions.

Judge Anthony Hawks handed Hodgson a two-year community order. He was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and he must attend 30 rehabilitation days with the probation service. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.