Okehampton former soldier jailed for child sex offences
A former soldier from Okehampton has been jailed for 14 and a half years for multiple sex offences against children.
Stuart Hood, from Okehampton, sexually abused a boy and two teenage girls.
His offending started when he was a teenager himself in the 1970s and continued when he was a young adult.
The prosecution in his trial described Hood as a bully capable of ‘deviant sexual behaviour’ who enjoyed assaulting his physically weaker victims. He chased one with a horse whip and stripped another naked.
Hood, aged 59, was found guilty of 11 offences of indecent assault and indecency with a child during a trial in January.
He returned to Exeter Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced.
The trial heard how all three victims had, at one point or another over the years, told different people what had happened to them when children.
The offences finally came to light until 2018 when the male victim went to police.
One victim said in a statement that his childhood had been made a misery by Hood’s behaviour. “He is a sick, perverse and a sadistic liar,’ he said. “I trust the sentence reflects the immeasurable harm he’s caused me.”
A second victim said she hoped that by coming forward people who have suffered abuse in their own lives will have the courage to go to police and not carry the shame of what happened with them.
The defendant told his trial the victims were lying. A number of character references were read to the court saying he was a hard-working married man.
Judge Anna Richardson said: “People are not necessarily one thing or another. I accept you have been a good family man and a valued member of the local community. That does not change the fact to your victims you were a dangerous and violent abuser.”
Hood will serve at least two thirds of his sentence in jail before he is considered for release.
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