September 2019

Isle of Wight sex offender ⁠— who ‘groomed’ a woman and her granddaughter ⁠— jailed for 16 months

A child sex offender has been jailed after he misled his girlfriend about his past.

Judge Susan Evans said she had no doubt Peter Raggett was grooming the woman and her eight-year-old granddaughter.

Raggett, 56, who was already on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, appeared at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on Friday after admitting breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order he received in 2008 for sexual offences with children.

Prosecutor Christopher Stopa said: “In May this year, the defendant started using the dating app Plenty of Fish, where he began talking to a lady from Sussex.

“She described him as a very charming man, and from there a relationship bloomed, but Mr Raggett had not been using his real name.”

The court heard how Raggett’s new girlfriend had an eight-year-old granddaughter who would often be present during Raggett’s visits.

Mr Stopa said: “On three or four occasions he stopped over at her house while her granddaughter slept on a sofa bed downstairs.

“At the start of August, Mr Raggett’s new girlfriend brought her granddaughter to the Island to visit him and take part in the Bembridge Fort Walk.

“A member of the public approached her and told her that Mr Raggett was a paedophile.

“She then returned with her granddaughter to the hotel and then fled the Island without speaking to him.

“The thought of her leaving her granddaughter alone with Mr Raggett no doubt should fill one with an overwhelming sense of dread.”

Raggett, of Whitcombe Road, Carisbrooke, made full admissions in interview with the police after he was arrested on August 4.

He told police he was working up to an appropriate point to tell her about his past convictions, but breached his order when he was briefly left alone with the granddaughter on a number of occasions.

Graham Gilbert, defending Raggett, said: “This case paints a picture of quite a lonely man who is looking for companionship.

“They met as adults on an adult dating app, he wasn’t on there seeking to meet children, and the time he spent alone with the granddaughter was by all accounts quite low.”

Raggett received a 16 month custodial sentence.

Judge Evans said: “I have no doubt you were grooming both these people.

“The very first time you came across that child you should have had no further contact with that woman, but you did.”

Update: Now released and living on the Isle of Wight

November 2008

Former crack addict gets seven years for abusing young sisters

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A soldier who became a crack addict after seeing a friend shot has been jailed for seven years for sexually abusing two young sisters.

Peter Raggett, 45, forced both his victims to endure years of perverted ordeals, a Crown Court heard. One of his victims vomited after an assault at his hands.

Raggett, who lived in Gossops Green, appeared for sentence at Guildford Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty by a jury of one court of indecent assault, three of sexual activity with a child, two of sexual assault and one of forcing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The defendant denied all the offences during a trial lasting nearly three weeks.

But he finally confessed his crimes to a probation officer while on remand in custody after his conviction, Judge Neil Stewart revealed at Friday’s hearing.

The mother of the two victims shouted “yes” when the judge imposed the seven-year prison term.

The court heard that the offences happened at locations in Surrey and Sussex.

During the trial, a 17-year-old girl said the defendant had put her through a catalogue of sexual abuse from the age of 11 until she was 14, telling her: “I’m preparing you for when you have a boyfriend.”

She said she was so disgusted that she vomited.

A 15-year-old girl told jurors that she was subjected to sex attacks when she was aged between 12 and 14.

She said Raggett began kissing her on the lips when he was drunk but his behaviour got worse and worse.

Raggett showed no emotion as Judge Stewart ordered him to be put on the sex offenders register and banned him from unsupervised contact with children on his release.

Adrienne Knight, defending, said her client had become addicted to crack cocaine after a spell in the Royal Corps of Transport.

“A friend was shot in front of him while he was serving in the army,” she said.

Ms Knight said that schizophrenia ran in the client’s family.

She added: “For the period of these offences, he was a very sick man indeed.”

Afterwards, the mother of the two victims said: “I’m satisfied with the sentence. Both girls are now trying to put their lives back together.

“Whatever happened to Peter Raggett in the army is no excuse for what he did. Many soldiers suffer terrible experiences – and they don’t go on to abuse children.”