Former Wallington Jehovah's Witness jailed for child sex abuse

Michael John Hewitt Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Michael John Hewitt abused three young girls in his Jehovah's Witness congregation

A man who sexually abused three young girls by exploiting a "position of trust" in a Jehovah's Witnesses community has been jailed for 15 years.

Croydon Crown Court heard the girls were as young as five when the abuse by Michael John Hewitt, 71, began.

Hewitt, of Fremington, Devon, was found guilty of eight counts of indecency with children under the age of 16.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life during sentencing on Monday.

The abuse began in the 1980s and took place over several decades while Hewitt lived on Demesne Road in Wallington, south London.

There he abused young members of his Jehovah's Witness congregation.

The abuse was carried out at his or the victims' homes, undetected by family members.

'Position of trust'

In January 2016 two of the victims reported what had happened to a family member who then contacted police.

In sentencing, the judge described Hewitt as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.

He was also served with a sexual harm prevention order and restraining order.

Det Con Janet Williams, from the Met Police, said: "The victims were abused by Hewitt at a very early age. Only when they were older were they able to understand what Hewitt subjected them to.

"Hewitt abused his position of trust to exploit the young girls for his own satisfaction. "

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