Queensbury rapist vicar Peter Hedge gets another five years in jail (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Queensbury rapist vicar Peter Hedge gets another five years in jail
Rapist vicar Peter Hedge must spend an extra five years behind bars after two more of his victims spoke out, bringing the number of boys he abused to eight.
Hedge, former vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Queensbury, Bradford, was locked up for 14 years in 2009 for what the judge described as the “wicked and cynical” rape and sexual abuse of boys in his pastoral care.
Now 51, Hedge was brought from prison to Bradford Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced for sexually abusing two more boys.
Judge Peter Benson, who presided over his trial four years ago, said he was now serving 19 years. Hedge’s first possible parole date, in October 2016, has now been pushed back.
He must serve half his sentence behind bars, not the present third, because he was jailed for old offences.
Hedge pleaded guilty to eight charges of sexually abusing a boy aged 13 to 15 and 12 of raping and abusing a boy aged 11 to 17. The fresh allegations came to light while he was in jail.
Prosecutor Sophie Drake said Hedge plied his young victims with drink and got one hooked on cannabis. He gave one £200 to keep quiet. Now in his early 30s, that victim suffered from depression and had attempted suicide.
The second victim, now in his late 20s, was a vulnerable boy when Hedge began abusing him while he was curate at St Margaret's Church, Thornbury, Bradford.
In mitigation, Hedge’s barrister, Nick Askins, said he was a model prisoner who worked as a listener and educator.
He was still on the jail’s waiting list for treatment under the sexual offender programme.
Judge Benson said it “seemed very strange” that Hedge was not regarded as a priority for such treatment.
Referring to the first of Hedge’s latest victims, the judge told him: “You took advantage of him in the most callous and unchristian way imaginable.”
The second victim had lost his job because of his cannabis addiction.
“I hope the fact that you have pleaded guilty to these matters indicates some sort of remorse for what you did in damaging these two young men, and the other six you abused in a similar way,” Judge Benson said.
Hedge, wearing a grey jumper, blue shirt and dark trousers, stood in the dock with his hands clasped behind his back. He bowed deeply to the judge before he was led to the cells.
After the case, Acting Detective Sergeant Richard Dove, of the Bradford District Child Safeguarding Unit, said: “The impact of the abuse on the victims, who are now both adults, cannot be measured. However, it is hoped with the support of their families and friends, both men will continue to positively move forward with their lives.”