Victims of a manipulative rapist and paedophile who was only caught when he tried to lure a fictional eight-year-old girl into sex online watched on as he was jailed for 26 years.
Twisted Gerald Hedges, 61, smirked as he was sent down by judge Timothy Mousley QC at Portsmouth Crown Court last Tuesday.
A jury unanimously found him guilty on July 22 of sexually abusing two young girls and raping two women over a period of 15 years.
The acts went undetected until Hedges, a naturist of Southwood Road, Hayling Island, was stung trying to coax a young girl into sex in 2017.
An undercover cop posed as the parent of a child in the online forum, Disabled Chat UK, telling Hedges the girl had ‘type 21 Down’ and a mental age of five.
Statements read by prosecutor Jodie Mittell as Hedges was sentenced told of the scarring impact his heinous crimes had on his victims.
One has nightmares and battles ‘huge’ anxiety triggered by whiskey – which Hedges used to drink – and the sight of ‘overweight older men’.
‘I put this down to what happened in the past,’ her statement said.
‘When I wake up startled I’m scared there is someone in my bedroom – this is definitely a flashback.’
She added: ‘I just need closure and to feel safe again. At the moment I just feel sick all the time and totally anxious.’
Another said the ways Hedges treated her have ‘affected her in different ways her whole life’.
‘I felt and still do feel ashamed and dirty,’ she said.
‘I feel alone, I always have, and I have never felt like I fitted anywhere.’
Two more statements told how Hedges’ crimes still cause constant nausea, with one victim wishing she ‘stuck up for herself’ during the abuse.
Sentencing, Mr Mousley said Hedges ‘lacked the courage’ to admit what he did – putting his victims through the ‘enormous’ stress of a trial.
‘I dare say they will probably never fully recover or reach a stage when they feel safe,’ he said.
‘One can only hope now we have come to the stage where you are going to be sentenced there will be some degree of closure.’
Hedges has been banned from working with children and given an ‘indefinite’ Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
His laptop, tablet and phone, which he used for grooming, will all be destroyed.
A unanimous jury found Hedges guilty of 13 charges: seven of indecent assault, another child sex offence, and five rapes. He denied them
Paedophile ‘Big G’ naturist convicted
A perverted naturist who left females ‘feeling sick’ after raping them and who sexually abused young girls is facing a lengthy term behind bars after being found guilty.
But vile Gerald Hedges, 61, was not in Portsmouth Crown Court to hear the damning verdicts following a trial that laid bare his barbaric exploitation of women and children after he was taken ill to hospital over the weekend.
The obese paedophilic predator will now have to face up to his heinous crimes when he is sentenced on September 9.
Due to his health issues, Hedges has not been remanded in custody but judge Timothy Mousley QC confirmed it was merely a stay of execution for the defendant who would ‘inevitably face a long term of imprisonment’.
Hedges sexually abused two young girls over a matter of years.
The pervert also claimed he was innocent of attempting to meet an eight-year-old girl for sex despite admitting writing messages on internet chat room ‘Disabled Chat UK’ about attempting to lure the child – which was in fact an undercover police officer.
His claims it was a ‘wind-up’ were proved to be nothing more than a pack of lies to get himself off the hook.
Prosecutor Jodie Mittell described Hedges, of Southwood Road, Hayling Island, as someone ‘interested in full penetration with young girls’.
But Hedges said he had never sexually abused young girls, repeatedly saying ‘I have never sexually abused any young children’ and ‘they are both lying’.
Hedges’ sheer depravity was illustrated by his sick game of giving his victims ‘full points’ if he was allowed to have sex with a child.
The court heard disturbing stories about how he raped a woman up against a tree more than 30 years ago after ‘forcing himself’ on her, leaving the victim ‘sick’.
Hedges’ flawed defence was highlighted over another rape he carried out when he claimed he was merely putting a blanket over a woman because it was a ‘cold night’.
In reality, Hedges was again fulfilling his warped desires by inflicting brutal punishment on a woman who woke to find she was being raped.
A unanimous jury found Hedges guilty of 13 charges: seven of indecent assault, another child sex offence, and five rapes. He denied them.