Pensioner jailed for sex abuse and rape of young victims

Michael Hines was jailed for 14 years at Ipswich Crown Court

Michael Hines was jailed for 14 years at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Suffolk police

A Suffolk pensioner who sexually abused three young girls and raped one of the victims has been jailed for 14 years. 

The victims of Michael Hines, 74, of Church Road, Dallinghoo, near Woodbridge, were all aged under 10 when he started abusing them, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Hines appeared in the dock on Friday to be sentenced for 11 counts of sexual assault of a child, three charges of sexual activity with a child, two counts of rape, one offence of attempted sexual assault, and one charge of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. 

The court heard that the offending came to light when one of the victims contacted the police. 

Jamie Sawyer, prosecuting, told the court that when Hines was arrested and interviewed by police, he answered basic questions before choosing not to comment. 

He then read a pre-prepared statement to officers, admitting the sexual assaults but denying the rape charges. 

Hines was then due to go to trial over the rape charges but changed his plea to guilty at a previous hearing. 

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Hines, who wore a mask and a grey sweatshirt in the dock, showed little emotion during the hearing. 

Two victim impact statements were read to the court by Mr Sawyer and described the impact Hines' offending had had on them. 

The court heard that Hines had no previous convictions. 

Joanne Eley, mitigating, said her client is soon to be 75, and did feel "very sorry" for his offending. 

She said Hines "could not remember why the abuse started". 

Reading from the pre-sentence report, Ms Eley told the court Hines said: "I know it was wrong to do it, I know I shouldn't have done it and that was it."

She added he had worked his entire life and retired in 2011. 

Recorder Jeremy Benson jailed Hines for 14 years with an extended period of one year on licence. 

Hines must serve at least two thirds of his sentence in prison before being eligible for parole. 

He will then serve the remainder of his sentence on licence. 

For advice and support for victims of sexual abuse, click here to see the specialist services offered