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Home   Kent   News   Article

Robert Hedges jailed for sex assault on young boy in Cranbrook

16 November 2012

Maidstone crown court

Maidstone Crown Court, where Hedges' case was heard

"There are things about me you wouldn't want to know".

That's what a victim of a sexual predator said to his mother as he kept his abuse a secret.

Now the pervert who sexually assaulted him several years ago has finally been jailed.

Robert Hedges, of Caxton Close, Tenterden, denied three indecent assault charges. He was convicted of two charges and cleared of one.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Hedges, 48, was about 31 when he committed the offences at the six-year-old boy’s home in the Cranbrook area.

Hedges followed the victim into a teepee-like construction and made him perform a sex act on him. He then did the same to the boy.

He tapped the youngster on the face and said: “This is our secret, don’t tell anyone.”

Hedges was alleged to have made the boy commit a similar act on another occasion, but the jury acquitted him of that charge.

"it is a good example of the wicked and corrosive nature of abuse of this sort" – judge charles macdonald qc
Prosecutor Alan Gardner said the victim kept quiet about what happened until 2010 when he told his mother.

“He said he could not handle it any more by that time,” said Mr Gardner. “He was loath to let it all out before. He had hinted to her that something was troubling him.

“When he was younger he said: ‘There are things about me you wouldn’t want to know.’”

He later told a counsellor and the police were informed. When arrested in May 2010, Hedges claimed there was no truth in the allegations.

Police seized his computer and discovered eight indecent images of boys at the lowest level of one. He had used search terms such as “boys naked”.

Hedges denied making indecent photos of children but was convicted at a previous trial.

The jury was discharged after failing to reach verdicts on the indecency charges and a retrial was ordered.

Nina Ellin, defending, said Hedges’ father was seriously ill in hospital with blood clots on his lungs and pneumonia.

Judge Charles Macdonald QC said of the indecency: “It is a good example of the wicked and corrosive nature of abuse of this sort.”

Hedges was jailed for six years for the indecent assaults and three months consecutive for the indecent images offences.

His name will appear on the sex offenders’ register and he is banned from working with children. A sexual offences prevention order was made for 15 years.

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