Ex Filey mayor, David Hudghton, jailed for sexually abusing two young girls

Former Filey mayor David Hudghton has been jailed for 15 years for sexually abusing two young girls for over a year.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 9:20 am
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 9:21 am

The 78-year-old, of Wharfedale in Filey, was sentenced on Thursday after a jury found him guilty of all 13 counts of sexual abuse against the youngsters.

The ex-Scarborough borough and Filey town councillor was also placed on the sex-offenders’ register for life and made subject to a sexual-harm prevention order, also for life.

Hudghton had denied all the offences despite overwhelming evidence stacked against him.

Doncaster Crown Court, inset: David Hudghton.

After a week-long trial at Doncaster Crown Court, the jury - some of whom were in tears after hearing heart-rending victim statements - deliberated for a day-and-a-half before the jury foreman returned guilty verdicts on eight counts of sexual assault and five counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

The trial heard the abuse was carried out between October 2017 and December 2018.

Prosecutor Richard Woolfall said that as well as sexually assaulting the girls, Hudghton would repeatedly encourage them to touch him on an intimate part of his body.

The mother of one of Hudghton's victims said she felt “a physical pain in my chest” after hearing that the former mayor had "abused them in the vilest way to satisfy his own depraved needs".

She couldn’t eat, lost weight and took time off work through stress.

The court heard that the girls “constantly remember” the abuse and both said they were scared that Hudghton would come to get them again.

Hudghton told one of the girls to keep the abuse “a secret”.

Mr Woolfall said the girls had trusted Hudghton and probably didn’t understand what was happening to them at the time, but things came to a head in late December last year when they each told relatives about the alleged abuse.

One of the girls said she “didn’t want to tell anyone (at the time of the abuse) because I thought it was all my fault and I didn’t want to get anyone into trouble”.

Hudghton told police there was “no truth” to the girls’ allegations and claimed to not remember one of the incidents because he had a bad memory.

Sentencing Hudghton to a 15-year jail sentence, Recorder Gurdial Singh told him he must also serve an extended 12 months on licence upon his eventual release from prison.

Mr Singh said Hudghton took “every opportunity” to subject the girls to “vile abuse”.