Harpenden paedophile pensioner convicted of child sex

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.


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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.

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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.

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