June 2009

Ipswich paedophile jailed indefinitely

A CONVICTED paedophile who downloaded child pornography has been locked up indefinitely after a judge branded him a danger to children.

Peter Hatchett, 30, of Ipswich, was jailed for five and a half years in 2002 for indecently assaulting a girl under 14 and taking indecent photographs of children, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He was released from prison in December 2004 and police carried out a search at his home in Firmin Close, Ipswich, in November last year after becoming concerned that he was associating with other known sex offenders, said David Wilson, prosecuting.

When officers checked computer equipment belonging to Hatchett they discovered more than 500 images of child pornography, including on a level of one to five with level five being the most serious, 397 images at level one, 39 at level two, 28 at level three, 32 at level four and four at level five.

Hatchett, who had been on licence from his earlier sentence, was returned to custody and had been candid with police who interviewed him about the images on his computer, said Mr Wilson.

“He said he could no longer control his desires,” said Mr Wilson.

Hatchett admitted 16 specimen offences of downloading child pornography and one offence of possessing child pornography.

Judge Peter De Mille told Hatchett that he posed a significant risk to children by the commission of further offences in the future and passed an indeterminate prison sentence for public protection.

He said Hatchett would have to serve at least two years behind bars before he could be considered for release by the parole board.

He also made a sexual offences prevention order to protect children on Hatchett’s release from custody and banned him from working with children. He also ordered him to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

At a court hearing in 2002 in relation to the earlier offences it was revealed that Hatchett’s father had been the vicar of Great Totham in Essex.

Mitigating on behalf of Hatchett yesterday Jude Durr said his parents move from the Essex village, where his father had been a trusted member of the community, in 2002 to a village in Suffolk had been unconnected with their son’s offending.

He said the congregation of their church in Essex and the local community had been kind and supportive at the time and Hatchett continued to have the love and support of his family despite the embarrassment and upset he had caused them.

Hatchett’s father is currently the vicar at St Andrew’s Church in Melton, near Woodbridge.

Mr Durr said Hatchett acknowledged he needed help in respect of the urges which had led him to committ offences.

He said that despite treatment programmes aimed at his offending behaviour Hatchett had been unable to fight temptation in relation to child pornography on the internet.

He said Hatchett had attended Colchester Grammar School and had got an Open Universtiy degree in Psychology.

March 2002

 Vicar’s son assaulted girls then took snaps

A vicar’s son has admitted indecently assaulting girls as young as three.

Peter Hatchett, of Hall Road in Great Totham, appeared before Chelmsford magistrates yesterday and admitted 11 charges of indecent assault and another seven of taking indecent photographs of children.

His father is the vicar of Great Totham, and Hatchett lives with his parents in the village vicarage.

Hatchett, 23, indecently assaulted six young girls – now aged three to 12 – over a five-year period. The court heard he photographed the assaults.

The images were then stored on his personal computer at home.

Worried parents contacted the police after they read in the paper that Hatchett admitted possessing indecent photos of youngsters in November last year.

He is currently awaiting sentence at crown court for that charge. He has already been fined for disorderly conduct following a scuffle in Promenade Park, Maldon, when parents sat on him until police arrived.

Gerald Isted, prosecuting yesterday, asked magistrates to remand Hatchett in custody for his own safety until he is sentenced.

He said: “Feelings are running high in the community. One parent has expressed desires to the police to take matters into his own hands.”

But Paul Mason, mitigating, said that there had been “no difficulties” since the assaults came to light.

“These matters have been known in the local community since November and there has been no expression of animosity towards him.

“His father is the vicar of the local church and Mr Hatchett has always had considerable duties through the church, which he withdrew from straightaway.”

He added Hatchett had pulled out of all activities within the church and the Scouts that brought him into contact with other children.

Magistrates remanded Hatchett in custody and he will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court.