April 2017

Child rapist ordered to ask police permission before he ever dates a woman again

A child rapist who has amassed jail terms of more than 25 years has been ordered to ask police permission before he ever dates a woman again.

A judge imposed the sex ban on Stephen Hughes, 65, from Redcar, on top of the more normal order not to have contact with girls under 18.

Hughes, who raped two young girls, must ask his police public protection officer before he starts a relationship with any woman and he must tell them about his previous convictions.

The indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order was passed on him at Teesside Crown Court when he refused to leave his prison cell after sacking his legal team and rejecting the opportunity for a pre-sentence report.

Hughes was jailed for 11 years on Thursday, extended by six years on licence after being convicted of six new sex crimes – two of rape and four of sexually assaulting a child – following a trial earlier this month.

He is serving a 15-year prison sentence for a string of sexual offences against a woman and two schoolgirls dating back to the 1980s and 90s and he was months away from finishing that sentence.

Sentencing him for the latest incidents, Judge Howard Crowson said yesterday that Hughes posed a risk of substantial sexual harm to the public.

His latest victim, who is now a teenager, was in court and she asked prosecutor Richard Bennett to read out her moving victim impact statement.

The youngster, who went to police after Hughes’s first trial, said that over the years since she had asked herself: “Why me?

“I did not really talk about it because if I did I would hurt my mum and my brothers. I kept my distance from my family.

“I never thought anyone would understand. Reporting what happened to me was very difficult. I have been worried and nervous for years.

“I was terrified at the trial and giving evidence.”

She added: “I wanted him to know that he had not silenced me.

“Since I reported it in 2014 the biggest impact has been at school.

“I will pass my exams and succeed in my life despite all the things he did to me.”

Hughes, of Queen Street, Redcar, will be on the sex offender register for life as well as banned from any contact with girls under 18 or on having a relationship with any woman without informing his supervising officer of his convictions.

April 2017

‘Deceptive’ sex offender facing second long jail term for child abuse

A defiant sex predator once branded a “deceptive, controlling manipulator” is facing his second long jail term for child abuse.

Stephen Hughes, 55, is serving a 15-year prison sentence for a string of sexual offences against a woman and two schoolgirls dating back to the 1980s and 90s.

He still protests his innocence to these crimes, in the face of refused appeals, and claims he will take his legal battle to the European courts.

Today at Teesside Crown Court, Hughes – already on the sex offenders’ register for life – was convicted of six new sex crimes.

Another girl he molested and raped came forward in 2014.

She had to endure the ordeal of giving evidence as her tormentor denied any wrongdoing.

Hughes, of Queen Street, Redcar, was found guilty of all six charges in his latest trial – two of rape and four of sexually assaulting a child.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was abused by Hughes at a very young age several years ago.

She told how he touched her and threatened her: “If you tell anyone I’ll kill you.”

She said she did not know how to feel about it at the time.

There were reports of sexual abuse to police and a counsellor, but Hughes was not further investigated or prosecuted until the girl made a complaint years later.

Hughes denied all of the charges and insisted none of the alleged attacks happened.

The jury did not believe him.

By their unanimous guilty verdicts after less than two hours’ consideration, they found the girl to be truthful, reliable and accurate.

Judge Howard Crowson told him: “Inevitably it will be a long sentence of imprisonment.”

He said he would have to consider whether Hughes should be classed a dangerous offender when he is sentenced on April 28.

Jurors had heard of Hughes’ 2008 conviction for sex offences.

He still says the guilty verdicts in that case were wrong. Both the Court of Appeal and the Criminal Cases Review Commission have dismissed his attempts to clear his name.

When he was sentenced in September 2008, a judge described his crimes against three people as disgusting, persistent, nasty, abhorrent and “a total abuse”.

It is the second case in a week of a sex offender being tried and convicted on fresh child abuse allegations.

Jason McSorley, 46, who served time for grooming and sexually assaulting a young girl, is also facing a long jail term after the same girl revealed he had raped her.

McSorley, formerly of Guisborough, now of Holme House Prison, denied the two rape charges but was convicted after a trial and will be sentenced on April 19.

September 2008

Sex beast who preyed on girls is locked away

A SEX attacker who preyed on a woman and two schoolgirls was yesterday jailed after a judge branded him a danger to females.

Stephen Hughes was still protesting his innocence as he was led from the dock at Teesside Crown Court to start a 15-year sentence.

The 47-year-old vowed to fight until he got a fair trial after claiming he had been badly represented during previous court appearances.

Shaven-headed Hughes, a former factory worker from Darlington, was found guilty of a string of sex attacks after a trial this year.

He was convicted of five indecent assaults and three rapes – specimen charges representing a catalogue of abuse – dating back to the Eighties.

Hughes sacked two barristers during earlier appearances at court, and yesterday refused the offer to have another to represent him.

He told Judge Les Spittle: “I am not guilty and I will go on until I get a fair trial . . . I am not going to do any courses or programmes.”

The court heard how unrepentant Hughes forced his victims to relive their traumatic ordeals by giving evidence during his trial.

He maintained his denials after his conviction, and told probation service officials he was not prepared to seek sexoffender treatment.

Judge Spittle told him the attacks were “particularly nasty and distasteful”, while one senior barrister said it was the worst case he had known.

The judge described the abuse as “a repeated course of conduct” and said: “Your behaviour was persistent and it was abhorrent.”

He added: “You let your own desires outweigh all other human considerations. I take the view that you are a risk to girls.

“Your attitude is such, that you have plainly stated you are not prepared to do anything.

You do not accept your responsibility.”

Hughes, now of Aberdare Road, Middlesbrough, will be on the sex offenders’ register for life, and will be permanently banned from working with children.

A sexual offences prevention order barring Hughes from residing with or being alone with under-18s was also made by Judge Spittle.

The judge also ruled that Hughes must not enter a relationship with any female without first notifying police.