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Norwich woman coerced two boys into touching her sexually during ‘games’, court hears

PUBLISHED: 15:50 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:42 17 October 2017

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Two children were coerced by a woman into touching her sexually during games that left them both “psychologically scarred”.

Norwich Crown Court heard the boys were sexually abused in the 1990s by Elaine Dawson, who was yesterday given a 15-month jail term, suspended for two years, and put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Complaints about the abuse by Dawson, 56, of Webster Close, Norwich, were first made in 2001.

But the court heard it was only in 2013 when police re-opened the case that she was arrested along with her mother Eileen Hobart, 77, and her brother Paul Hilling, 49.

The three stood trial in January, but Hobart, who was said to be the “ringleader”, died during the proceedings and the trial was halted. Dawson then changed her plea and admitted the indecency charges at the crown court last week, but it is only now that it can be reported.

Hilling, of Humbleyard, Bowthorpe, also changed his plea and admitted causing a child actual bodily harm and common assault and was jailed 18 months suspended for two years.

Edward Renvoize, prosecuting, said Hobart was the “ringleader” of the sexual and physical abuse of the two boys and had a “dominant personality”.

Andrew Thompson, for Dawson, said she had a number of difficulties and was a vulnerable person herself. He said her mother’s death had “broken her influence” over the defendant.

He said Dawson had never been implicated in any physical violence and said of the sexual abuse: “It was playing games which led on to something more serious.”

He said the case had taken its toll on Dawson and said she was unlikely to ever re-offend.

Sentencing her, Judge Maureen Bacon accepted Dawson had been under the influence of the “sheer dominance” of Hobart and described Hobart as the “ringleader” who had “orchestrated” what went on.

Jonathan Goodman, for Hilling, said the offences took place more than 20 years ago and said he had no history of violence.

A third defendant Gerrard Nunan, 49, of Holt Road, Cromer was cleared of indecent assault.

After the case Det Chief Insp Paul Brown said: “This abuse has left the victims psychologically scarred and I can only hope this result brings a degree of comfort to them, knowing the primary defendant died during the original trial.”

He said: “We often speak about the changing face of crime and this is a prime example. The reality is years ago this case would not have reached the courts.”

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