September 2023

Man jailed for sexual offences

A 15-year-old fingerprint found on a letter helped bring a paedophile to justice.

Gary Hobbs, 39, was found guilty of nine charges of sexual activity with a teenager dating back 15 years.

His trial at Basildon Crown Court heard he had abused the victim in Laindon, Essex between late 2008 and through 2009.

Just before Valentine’s Day 2008, he sent his victim a handwritten letter professing his love.

The offences only came to light when they were reported to police in 2019.

As part of the inquiry, specialists forensically examined the letter which the victim still had and were able to extract fingerprints from it.

They were able to establish Hobbs, of Keith, in Banffshire in Scotland, had sent the letter and it proved key evidence at his trial.

Hobbs is due to be sentenced at the same court on 23 October.