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Jail for HMP Warren Hill officer who sexually assaulted four women

PUBLISHED: 16:26 03 July 2017 | UPDATED: 18:02 03 July 2017

Richie Hoy leaving Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Richie Hoy leaving Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A Suffolk prison officer who sexually assaulted four women by groping their bottoms and who put his hand down another woman’s top and touched her breast has been jailed for 32 weeks.

Richie Hoy, who was employed at HMP Warren Hill at Hollesley, near Woodbridge, took advantage of the women when they were on their own and committed the assaults over a 10 month period, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said Hoy had walked up behind one of the women and slapped her bottom and then grabbed one of her buttocks.

Hoy asked another woman for a hug and then grabbed one of her buttocks leaving her feeling shocked.

On another occasion he put his hand inside a woman’s top and touched her breast under her bra. She then heard him unzipping his trousers but told him to do the zip back up, which he did, said Mr Crimp.

Hoy had also touched the bottoms of two other women.

Hoy, 35, of Penshurst Road, Ipswich, admitted six offences of sexual assault and was jailed for 32 weeks. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Sentencing him, Judge Martyn Levett, said the defendant had wanted to reassure himself he was still attractive to women following the breakdown of his marriage.

Lynne Shirley, for Hoy, said that prior to the offences her client had no previous convictions.

She said the offences had been hanging over him for a year and all but one of them related to him touching the victims on their bottoms.

Miss Shirley said Hoy had been suspended from his job as a prison officer since last year.

“He has lost his good character and will lose his job,” said Miss Shirley.

She said Hoy had been in the army and while working for the prison service he had prevented a female colleague from being seriously injured during an incident at the prison.

Miss Shirley said Hoy had recently attended a mental health unit because he had suicidal thoughts but was turned away because there weren’t any available beds.

She said Hoy had been taking medication for anxiety and depression.

Open justice

Richie Hoy had sought to keep his identity a secret in an attempt to prevent his name, address and personal details becoming public.

However, at a hearing in May the East Anglian Daily Times successfully fought an application made by Hoy’s barrister Lynne Shirley, who took the unusual step of asking Ipswich Crown Court to make an order under Section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act.

A letter to the court from Hoy’s father appealed for “a degree of anonymity from the media”.

It was stated Hoy’s family were concerned about his health and family, and any possible threats. However, no proof was supplied to the court to substantiate any concerns or threats.

Judge Rupert Overbury refused Hoy’s application.

Judge Overbury said the general overriding principle was one of open justice and there was a public interest in the case being reported.


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