August 2019

Paedophile who tried to evade justice in Spain likely to die in jail

A paedophile who abused five boys over three decades has been told he is likely to die in prison after being sentenced for what a judge has described as one of the worst cases a court has seen.

Roger Hocking, 74, was brought back to the UK from Spain on a European Arrest Warrant and has now been punished for a catalogue of abuse that has blighted the lives of the victims, taking place in east Cornwall from the 1960s through to the 1990s.

A frail looking Hocking was brought to the dock at Truro Crown Court on Wednesday (August 21) to be sentenced after previously admitting seven indecent assaults on a male, four attempted buggeries, eight counts of indecency with a child, two buggeries, attempted rape and an indecent assault.

Prosecuting the case, Adrian Chaplin told the court how Hocking was brought back to the UK from his smallholding near Malaga earlier this year.

Mr Chaplin described how the first victim was targeted when he was eight or nine and Hocking was 18.

The abuse took place when Hocking returned to Cornwall on leave from the army.

Hocking, who also worked as a lorry driver, forced the boy to touch his penis and did the same to him, before performing oral sex on him.

He also attempted to anally penetrate the victim but was unable to due to his small stature. The abuse continued until the victim was 11 or 12 and was accompanied by threats to kill him if he’d tell anyone.

The second victim was aged six or seven and also targeted when Hocking was home on leave.

He remembers Hocking being violent and performing oral sex on him in a public toilet.

Mr Chaplin described how the third victim recalls similar abuse as the others, but he was also anally raped by Hocking.

The fourth victim was aged 10 or 11 and on one occasion was grabbed and forcibly undressed by the defendant. Hocking told him that if ever he told anyone he would kill his mother.

The final victim in this case was assaulted and raped between the ages of four and seven.

In 1997 Hocking moved to Spain and an investigation into his offending began in September 2017.

Mr Chaplin described how the victims have been left with both psychological and physical problems as a result of what they’ve been through.

Representing Hocking, Lee Bremridge said: “Mr Hocking is 74 and it’s highly likely he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

“He has lived in Spain for the last 25 years and has now settled his affairs, a friend has helped resettle the animals he had on his smallholding.

“Since his remand in this country he has become an enhanced prisoner and is in charge of the laundry wing but his health is deteriorating quickly. He is due for tests soon for a suspected tumour.

“He did not want his victims to have to give evidence and the guilty pleas ensured that did not happen. He wants to apologise through me for what he has done.”

Sentencing Hocking, who has received jail sentences for abusing other boys in the past, Judge Simon Carr said he was sentencing him for three decades of abuse.

He said: “The courts are sadly used to addressing issues of historic child abuse but given the breadth of this abuse and the number of victims it is one of the worst that has been heard.

“I’ve read the victim personal statements and the devastation your offending has caused is obvious. It has blighted the lives not just of those attacked but their families and those close to them.”

Judge Carr went onto add how the victims had no way of physically resisting Hocking and the abuse took the form of both indecent assaults and rapes.

Judge Carr added: “All these people believed they were being attacked in isolation unaware of the magnitude of your abuse. They have had to go through the pain of reliving what you did to them and the realisation that others were abused as well.”

Emotionless Hocking was jailed for 20 years and told he must sign the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.