Former Rugby man convicted of sexual abuse of girl, 14

Steven Hewitt NNL-170327-112249001
Steven Hewitt NNL-170327-112249001

A former Rugby man has been convicted of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl and has been remanded in custody while a pre-sentence report is prepared on him.

Steven Hewitt, 33, who has recently been living in Kingston-upon-Hull, had denied three charges of sexual assault, seven of assault by penetration and two of voyeurism.

But at the end of the week-long trial, the jury found him guilty of all 12 charges by unanimous verdicts.

Prosecutor Mark Knowles said the offences came to light when Hewitt’s victim, who is now in her 20s, went to the police last year to complain about the abuse she had suffered as a child.

It happened when she had babysat for Hewitt and his wife at various addresses in Rugby, when she was 14.

His offences began with an incident when he touched her and continued with further assaults.

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 assaulted her.

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. 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, adding that she had not objected, which he had taken to be agreement to what he was doing.

After the jury returned its guilty verdicts, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said she was ordering a pre-sentence report on Hewitt, but commented: “He is under no illusion that this is going to be a very lengthy sentence.”