July 2023

Plymouth man sexually abused girl at Burrator reservoir

A Plymouth man has been jailed for sexually abusing a girl at Burrator reservoir 

Stephen Hoskin, 52, of Saltburn Road, Plymouth, initially stood trial at the court on four charges relating to an incident which took place 26 years ago, sometime between January and June in 1997.

Hoskin was accused of raping a girl under the age of 16 at the reservoir, two counts of indecently assaulting the girl and one count of committing an act of gross indecency with a child. Hoskin had denied all the charges.

At a trial held at Plymouth Crown Court in March this year, Hoskin was found guilty on two charges; one of indecent assault and one of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency, both of which were committed against the same victim. He was cleared of rape.

At the trial, the court heard that the victim was under 16 when subjected to the abuse in 1997, when Hoskin was in his mid to late-20s.

Although the offences were originally reported to police in the summer of that year, no charges were brought against Hoskin but after the victim, now an adult, contacted Devon and Cornwall Police in 2020 to better understand why the case had been closed, changes and developments in investigative approach were available.

His honour Judge Peter Johnson sentenced Hoskin to eight years in prison for indecent assault and two years for gross indecency, to be served concurrently.

He told Hoskin that he would serve half of his sentence in prison and the other half on licence but warned him that if he breached the terms of the licence, he would go back to prison.