Former Rugby man jailed for 11 years over babysitter sexual abuse
A former Rugby man who sexually abused his 14-year-old female babysitter was jailed for 11 years on Friday (June 23).
Steven Hewitt, who lived at various addresses in Rugby, had denied three charges of sexual assault, seven of assault by penetration and two of voyeurism.
But he had been found guilty of all 12 charges following a trial at Warwick Crown Court in March, after which the case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him.
At the resumed hearing Hewitt, 33, who had been living at an address in Kingston-upon-Hull prior to the trial, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Jailing Hewitt, who repeatedly shook his head in denial as she outlined his offences, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “She trusted you and your family, and you chose to take advantage of the fact that she trusted you to regularly sexually abuse her.
“She speaks of the effect this has had on her. She speaks of broken trust in people and difficulty in having relationships.
“It won’t be put at an end by whatever happens today, because nothing I do can bring back the childhood she has lost, but I hope this will bring some kind of closure for her.
“And as a result of what you did, you have wrecked your family life. You have lost your wife and the children you love, and you find yourself virtually alone in the world.”
Judge de Bertodano also imposed a restraining order banning Hewitt from contacting his victim in any way, directly or indirectly, for life.
During the trial the jury heard the offences came to light when Hewitt’s victim, now in her 20s, went to the police last year to complain about the abuse she had suffered as a child.
Prosecutor Mark Knowles explained it began when the girl had babysat for Hewitt and his wife when she was 14.
The offences started with an incident when Hewitt had fondled her breast, and then ranged from touching and licking her breasts to doing so more intimately and penetrating her with his fingers.
He also left his iPhone in the bathroom, hoping to capture her in a state of undress while she was there.
His victim spoke of occasions when, while his wife was upstairs, Hewitt had pinned her on the sofa and forced his hands inside her pants to touch her.
She would try to push him off, but he would carry on, putting his arm round her mouth so she could not cry out.
The girl did not go to the police at the time because she did not want to upset Hewitt’s wife, who she got on with, but she did confide in a close friend at school.
And in 2015 she went to see Hewitt’s wife and told her what had gone on.
At first his wife did not seem to accept it, but after she challenged him and he admitted some of what had happened but claimed it had been consensual, she told him to leave their home.
Mr Knowles told the jury: “He contacted a psychological therapy unit and spoke to staff. He said he was in his car and thinking of killing himself.”
In his phone call, Hewitt confided: “I’m a paedophile. I feel guilty for what I’ve done. I know it’s wrong. They didn’t want me to, but I couldn’t stop my behaviour.”
He called again, saying he knew the police were looking for him, and again repeated that he had been touching someone who did not want to be touched and had told him to get off.
In fact his victim had not contacted the police at that stage, but when she did so early last year Hewitt was arrested after being stopped in his car.
But Hewitt claimed that although he had touched the girl, it had been when she was older, and that she had not objected – which was rejected by the jury.
Sally Hancox, defending, said: “He had lived an all-but law-abiding life before this.
“He acknowledges his wrong-doing will take him away from his own family for many years, and that he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his days.”