September 2019

“Dangerous” predatory paedophile jailed

A judge jailed a “dangerous” predatory paedophile after his courageous survivors told how their lives were ripped apart.

Richard Hoey, from Ramsgate, carried out a “campaign of rape” against two children, attacking them dozens of times over a number of years.

Judge Mark Weekes told the former truck driver: “Childhood is a time of innocence.

“Childhood should be free from cares or worries and a time for fun, for enjoyment.

“Every child should be loved, cared for and allowed to develop without fear, it should be a time that anyone can look back on with happy memories.

“It is clear to me that you wrecked your victims’ childhood.

“You grossly violated both at a time in their lives when they were vulnerable, they were left frightened, confused.

“The campaign of sexual abuse was cruel, and, at times, violent.

“You left two vulnerable girls broken.”

One survivor told the court she sleeps with a hammer under her pillow in fear 71-year-old Hoey will return.

Since the attacks, she has made numerous attempts to kill herself, self-harmed since childhood and thrashes in her sleep believing she is fighting off the pervert.

Another survivor force-fed herself to put on weight in an attempt to make herself less attractive to the paedophile.

Now, she struggles to look at her own reflection in the mirror and carries “a cloud of pain and shame”.

Hoey’s first victim told the court: “On the occasions I see him in my local towns I am stopped in my tracks, I begin to panic and I run.

“My fears will often develop into nightmares and haunting dreams. I carry around a cloud of pain or shame.

“I feel the abuse has made me be very selective on who I let into my life, particularly males.

“Using food as a crutch, and eating so much to gain weight and become ugly enough, hoping he will leave me alone.

“Even now I rarely look in full-length mirrors.

“I hate referring to myself as a victim but that is what I am. I’m still full of shame.

“I do feel satisfied knowing as Richard has lost his freedom I have gained mine.

“My past was Richard Hoey, my future is now my own.”

Both survivors sat in the court’s public gallery, about four metres from Hoey, who turned his back on them, avoiding eye-contact throughout the three-hour hearing.

Indeed, as prosecuting barrister Serena Gates read the impact statements, one court staff member became too emotional to remain in the hearing.

Hoey’s second survivor added: “Richard Hoey used to make me feel sick, he would threaten me.

“I remember on one occasion Richard Hoey tried to pay me to shut up.

“I threw the money back at him and said it’s wrong what you are doing, you need to be stopped.

“I had £40 worth of goods in my bags, but when I saw him I dropped the bags and ran.

“I couldn’t leave the house for four days after dropping the shopping bags.

“I have always slept with a hammer under my pillow.

“My partner has had to calm me when I have woken up lashing out and screaming.”

She told of her panic seeing Hoey regularly in a nearby cafe, prompting her to spend substantial amounts of money on taxis to avoid him.

The barrister explained how the woman still suffers suicidal thoughts that intensified as Hoey’s trial date approached.

Judges Weekes jailed Hoey, of Paradise in Ramsgate, to 20 years and six months in prison.

He will spend two years on extended license following his release.

Judge Weekes added: “The final victory in this case is theirs.

“Their courage in coming forward to report you and give evidence against you shows that your abuse did not break their spirit.

“You did not, and could not, remove their dignity.”

Hoey pleaded guilty to 11 charges ranging from indecent assault to rape of a child before trial.

The Crown Prosecution Service requested a further five charges to lie on file.