Former school caretaker jailed for historic sex crimes

The scales of justice EMN-150414-135109001
The scales of justice EMN-150414-135109001

A pensioner who sexually abused two girls in the 1970s was jailed for eight-and-a-half years on Monday (February 22).

Eighty-year-old Edwin Hillier, of Saturn Way, Hemel Hempstead, was told by Judge Stephen Warner that he had subjected the victims to “repeated and systematic abuse” for his own “sexual gratification.”

Hillier, who had received a suspended jail sentence for a sexual offence against a girl in the 1970s, told one of his victims: “Nobody believes a 10-year-old when she speaks.”

Prosecutor Beverly Cripps told St Albans Crown Court that the offences were first reported to the police in 2002 by the boyfriend of one of the victims. She did not want to proceed at that time, but she made a statement in 2014.

Hillier, a former school caretaker, pleaded guilty to attempted rape and indecent assault on one victim who was aged between 10 and 15.

He also admitted two charges of a serious sexual offence (buggery), attempted rape and indecent assault on a girl when she was aged between seven and 14.

Edmund Vickers, defending, told the judge: “He seeks to apologise to his two victims for his appalling behaviour all those years ago.

“He was in tears in a very difficult police interview. He has done his best to make amends by pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“He said he was a fully grown man and he should have known better. He said it was his ‘filthy brain’.”

After his arrest in November 2014, he said Hillier had tried to take his life by cutting his wrists.

Mr Vickers added: “He is now over 80 and in considerable ill health.

“His health is bad and deteriorating and he is registered blind.

“If he does not end his days in prison, there will not be much of his natural life left if he is released.”

Jailing him, Judge Warner told Hillier: “Your victims were young, confused and vulnerable and unable to speak for many years.

“What you did has had a life-long effect on them.”