March 2023

Paedophile’s victim poses as a sex abuser online, befriends him and lures him into admitting raping her: Attacker, 46, is jailed for 22 years

A child rape victim posed as a paedophile online in order catch the man who abused her by corresponding with him on a web forum. 

The woman, who had been abused by Hugo De Sousa as a child, discovered in 2021 he had been convicted of distributing and making images of child sex abuse. 

The 46-year-old Portuguese national of Havelock Road, Derby was unaware that his new online friend was one of his victims. 

De Sousa, who admitted rape and sexual assault of a child and possession of images of child sex abuse was jailed for 22 years at Derby Crown Court. 

Judge Jonathan Bennett said: ‘These offences actually came to light by reason of your conviction for indecent images in 2021 when you were made the subject of a suspended sentence for making and distributing the images. Your victim became aware of that and she thought she might now be believed.

‘In effect, she set up a trap for you under a pseudonym on an online chat site where she discussed with you your predilection for underage girls and you made admissions (to the pseudonym) that you had sexually abused (her as) a child. In terms of what you did after you first abused her, you behaved as though nothing had taken place.

‘But by doing what you did to her, you have blighted her childhood by using her as a sexual chattel and corrupting her. Then, in your (pre-sentence) report you begin victim-blaming, placing responsibility on what you did to her, and that factor gives me great concern.’ 

Prosecutors said following De Sousa’s 2021 conviction, his victim ‘made a decision from there to set herself up with a fake name, to contact him and try to get him to admit what he had done’. 

The court heard the plan ‘worked to perfection’  

In a victim impact statement, the girl told how she has suffered from nightmares, how it had affected her school work, that she was sleeping to the point where she started working nights because she could not sleep properly, and that she’s had intruding recurrent thoughts about what happened. 

The 22-year sentence is made up of 17 years of custody plus an additional five years on an extended licence.

It means he won’t be eligible to apply for parole until two thirds of the way through the custodial element. The defendant will be on the sex offender register for life and is the subject of a lifetime sexual harm prevention order.

As De Sousa is a Portuguese national, he will be liable to deportation on his release from prison, the judge said.