A controlling violent bully who sexually assaulted eight girls and women was today given a 29-year sentence.
Paul Hitchen, from Wigan, who raped two of his victims, has been put behind bars for 24 years with an extended licence for five years by a judge who described his attitude to females as “wholly appalling.”
Hitchen, 35, had been convicted of a total of 27 offences spanning eight years following a three week trial during which he claimed the allegations were malicious inventions and the product of a conspiracy against him.
Sentencing him Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, said that Hitchen had admitted having a trial was “a gamble” and has since made some limited admissions “but they do not signify anything like acceptance of responsibility for your actions and their consequences. In some respects you still see yourself as a victim.
“You’ve shown no empathy with or towards your victims of violence and sexual abuse, revealing yourself so far to be totally indifferent to their suffering.”
Judge Goldstone said that he believed that “the attitude of arrogance and disdain” which he had displayed throughout his trial had marked his relationships with his victims.
“You have left a trail of devastation, seriously damaging women in your wake for whom one can only hope that that the conclusion of this trial will bring closure.”
He said that three of his victims were teenage girls whom he “sought to control and to whom you were physically and sexually violent.”
He had sexually abused one of his rape victims on one occasion to “punish and hurt her” and on another occasion had locked her inside his home for seven hours while he went to work as he did not want anyone to see the bruises he had inflicted.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that he also kicked her in the stomach while she was pregnant and “cruelly punished” a 17-year-old girl by raping her for “daring to exercise her will.”
His offences also included indecently assaulting a 13-year-old girl, touching her over her school uniform and he twice sexually assaulting her mum. He indecently assaulting two girls aged 14 and 15 and hit another victim on the ankle with an iron bar while she was pregnant.
Judge Goldstone said that Hitchen, who showed no emotion throughout the hearing, had “an unhealthy interest in under-age girls.
“You have a pre-disposition towards aggressive and controlling behaviour which is likely to lead to the commission of further violent and sexual offences.”
Impact statements from some of his victims showed the mental scars he has left on them from which some may never totally recover, he added.
Hitchen, a father-of-five, had told a probation officer that he believed rape involved taking someone who was “off their face” down an alley and that half young girls showed they were ready to be raped by the way they dressed.
The judge concluded by saying that until Hitchen fully and genuinely accepted responsibility and proper remorse he remains at very high risk of re-offending.
Paul Treble, defending, said that Hitchen, of Ormskirk Road, Newtown, has no similar previous convictions and his partner has been helping him deal with his anger management issues.
He had been a “very angry young man” but since his conviction in August has started on the road to rehabilitation although it was accepted it was a long road.
During his trial Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said that that the physical and sexual violence came to light after one of his victims told police of her ordeal at his hands and an investigation “revealed she was not alone in making such allegations” against him.
Many of the offences occurred while Hitchen lived in Gantley Avenue, Billinge with his grandmother, to whom he was “domineering and aggressive”.
When she heard some of his abusive behaviour and told him to desist, she was herself threatened.