Man detained for sex attack

A 22-YEAR-OLD Upton man has been detained at a secure hospital unit for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl.

After hearing from mitigating counsel that he suffered mental health problems, a judge at Leeds Crown Court ordered Darren Hodgson to remain indefinitely at Newhaven Unit at St Luke’s Hospital in Huddersfield.

The court heard that Hodgson, of Clayton Avenue, snatched the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, while she was walking with a friend in February 2006.

He was waiting as the friends reached steps at the end of a pathway at about 6pm.

Speaking at an earlier hearing at Leeds Crown Court, prosecutor Mehran Nassiri said: “The footpath was dark and they (the friends) used their mobile phones as torches. They ran very quickly.

“A man said ‘hey up’ as they tried to run.”

As Hodgson caught the girl she shouted to her friend: “Get my mum, he is going to kill me.”

Hodgson then took the girl to nearby wasteland where he punched her and carried out a sexual assault.

The girl fought back, biting and scratching her attacker as she tried to escape.

Meanwhile, the girl’s friend had raised the alarm and brought her mum.

Mr Nassiri said: “The girl’s mum ran out and was shouting. She saw a figure leaving the area.

“The girl was covered in blood and taken to Pontefract General Infirmary.”

By scratching him the girl was able to provide a sample of Hodgson’s DNA but the police were unable to match it as he had no previous convictions.

Hodgson was arrested when, months later, the girl contacted police after recognising his voice.

He pleaded guilty to kidnap and sexual assault at an earlier hearing and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Hodgson was also put on a sexual offences prevention order for life with the conditions that he must not have unsupervised contact with children, not work with children and not take a child in a car without an adult present.

At the earlier hearing Alex Offer, mitigating, said his client “suffered a mental impairment” and added: “A hospital order is the right one.”

Judge Ian Dobkin said: “It is good that the treatment Mr Hodgson is receiving at Newhaven is having an effect already and is likely to have an effect in the future.”