York & North Yorkshire

Former North Yorkshire mayor jailed for child sex offences

David Hudghton
Image caption David Hudghton, 78, was the former mayor of Filey in North Yorkshire

A former mayor has been jailed for a string of sexual offences against two young girls.

David Hudghton was found guilty of eight counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 and five counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

The 78-year-old, of Wharfedale in Filey, had served as a councillor and as the town's mayor.

He was told he must serve 15 years in jail with a further year on licence.

The former authority member was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life and given a lifetime sexual harm prevention order.

The trial at Doncaster Crown Court heard his abuse came to light after his victims began to display sexualised behaviour.

It led to them disclosing the abuse, carried out between October 2017 and December 2018, to their families, who contacted police.

'Sense of guilt'

The jury heard how the defendant, who consistently denied the allegations, would touch the girls and encourage them to touch him.

Prosecutors argued it was "beyond doubt" they had been abused and they had clearly stated that Hudghton was responsible.

The mother of one of Hudghton's victims said in her victim impact statement she had an "overwhelming sense of guilt" that she had handed her child over to a man she trusted and who "abused them in the vilest way to satisfy his own depraved needs".

She said when the abuse emerged she had felt "a physical pain deep in her chest".

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