Harpenden paedophile pensioner convicted of child sex

PUBLISHED: 06:52 04 May 2011

Crown Court

Crown Court

Archant

A HARPENDEN pensioner has been told he faces a long time behind bars after being convicted of sexually abusing a young girl in Hoddesdon.

A member of her family shouted “Rot in hell!” at 79-year-old Patrick Davitt as Judge Marie Catterson remanded him in custody.

Davitt, a former soldier, of Grove Road, Harpenden, denied 20 charges of rape and sexual abuse of the same victim when he appeared at St Albans crown court last week.

The jury convicted him of one charge of rape and two charges of indecent assault when the girl was aged eight or nine; one charge of rape when she was aged 10 or 11 and two of indecent assault, one of rape, one of assault by penetration and one of sexual assault when she was 12 and one of sexual assault on her last year.

He was cleared of one charge of rape and five of indecent assault when the girl was aged seven. The judge directed the jury not to return verdicts on charges of sexual assault, assault by penetration and three other rapes. Those charges will be left on the file.

Judge Catterson told Davitt: “You can expect nothing other than a very lengthy period in custody.”

She told the jury that there had been delays in the case caused by Davitt crashing his car in Broxbourne Woods during the trial.

When he gave evidence Davitt admitted touching the girl under and over her clothes and kissing her, but said: “I have never had sex with her anywhere.”

He told the jury of seven women and five men that after contracting diabetes in 1995 he suffered sexual problems that stopped him having an erection.

The victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons – said Davitt had told her that if she complained “nobody was going to believe a stupid little girl.”

She also said he told her he was getting her ready for boyfriends when she was older. Sentence was adjourned until May 16.

If you value what this gives you, please consider supporting our work. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser