A crown court judge sentencing a rapist said he had been haunted by the face of the young victim.
As Judge Christopher Cornwall sent Charles Hodgson to jail for six and a half years for raping and sexually assaulting a boy he said: “This is an extremely worrying case. I feared the jury might be haunted by the boy’s face for some time to come. As it so turns out, I have been”.
Hodgson (21), of Thurston Street, Burnley had denied one charge of sexual assault, two of causing someone to engage in sexual activity without their consent, and a charge of rape. He had been convicted following a trial at Burnley Crown Court and was sentenced at Preston Crown Court.
In a victim impact statement the boy said he was struggling to deal with and accept what had happened to him, saying: “He made me feel so scared. I felt I couldn’t do anything to stop him.”
The youngster said he felt “angry” about the questions put to him in his evidence at court, adding: “He was trying to make me out to be the liar”.
Judge Cornwall said the boy’s statement was “a remarkably eloquent account of the turmoil that descends upon the innocent victim of a sexual assault”, and that the defendant had been rightly convicted by the jury.
The trial had heard that Hodgson was 20 when he sexually assaulted his victim, got him to take part in sex acts and then raped him.
He told the boy not to tell anyone what had happened, but the following day the boy told two girls at school.
Mr Richard Dawson (defending) said: “He doesn’t accept the conviction of the jury, but he does accept and recognise that Your Honour must pass sentence today.
“He understands that only an immediate sentence of imprisonment will follow. He is unsophisticated and relatively immature for his age”.
Hodgson will be on the sex offenders’ register for life and subject to a sexual offences prevention order for five years which bars him from having any unsupervised contact with any child under 16.