Great Britain

Would-be rapist, 23, a "very high risk" offender, says judge

A WOULD-BE rapist from Whitehaven who targeted a vulnerable 17-year-old girl has been jailed for eight years after a judge described him as a “very high risk” offender.

Carlisle Crown Court heard a harrowing account of the girl’s ordeal at the hands of perverted Stephen Hodgson, 23.

Just a few hours before the attack at the teenager's home, he had been trawling the internet for violent rape videos.

The only reason he was unable to complete the brutal rape of the teenager, the court heard, was that a neighbour heard the girl "howling" in distress and intervened, arriving in the property to find the defendant attempting to overpower his blood-covered victim.

Hodgson, of Herdus Road, Whitehaven, admitted attempted rape and an assault causing actual bodily harm.

In her victim impact statement, the girl spoke of suffering flashbacks, and of how what happened on the night of the attack haunted her.

Hodgson committed the attack in the early hours of December 28 last year.

He and another man had travelled from Workington to Kendal to meet two young girls.

The defendant had used cannabis and been drinking alcohol.

Recently released from a long prison term for serious violence, he had become obsessed with perverted and violent sexual videos, and he wanted to have sex with one of the girls, not caring that his victim did not want sex.

Hodgson's defence barrister Anthony Parkinson said: “The defendant started misusing alcohol from the age of 12 or 13 and controlled drugs a couple of years after that. He was also exposed to violent behaviour in his household.”

But in her victim impact statement the traumatised girl said: “Almost every moment, I think about what happened to me… I feel anxious and depressed and I struggle to focus due to what happened.” She said she was troubled by flashbacks - the unwanted memory of Hodgson’s face and in particular his eyes.

“It makes me feel terrified,” she said.

Judge Nicholas Barker told the defendant: “You had an interest in violent and disturbed sexual experiences; it was something of an obsession of yours; something you were fixated on. You had also sought out drugs.”

It was obvious he was in the company of a vulnerable young woman who had been drinking and even after he had attacked her, leaving her covered in blood, Hodgson was not deterred, or shocked.

He had in fact been perversely excited, said the judge.

“She was in a distraught and terrified state,” continued the judge.

Judge Barker ruled that the defendant poses a significant risk of serious harm to the public.

“I have not read before,” he said, “a pre-sentence report that sets out more clearly the risk that a defendant presents.

“You are very high risk.”

He imposed an eight-year jail term, combined with an extended licence period which means Hodgson will remain at risk of recall to prison for five years after the expiry of his eight year term. He will have to serve a minimum of two thirds of the eight years.

He will only be released early from that term if the Parole Board deem it is safe to do so.

Hodgson is also to have his name on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

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