A disgraced vicar has had five years added to his long prison sentence after he admitted having sex with two more vulnerable young boys.
Former Queensbury vicar Peter Hedge, 51, was locked up for 14 years in October 2009 after a jury found him guilty of raping and sexually abusing six youngsters, but Judge Peter Benson today (TUES) extended that sentence after the Oxford University graduate admitted similar offending against two other boys.
Prosecutor Sophie Drake said one of the two new complainants had been spoken to during the original police inquiry, but at the time he denied anything had happened because he wanted to get on with his life.
But in 2011 he contacted the police and revealed how Hedge had abused him.
At the time that abuse began Hedge was the curate of St Margaret’s Church, Thornbury, Bradford, but he continued to abuse youngsters after becoming the vicar at Holy Trinity Church, Queensbury.
Hedge used cannabis and alcohol to corrupt his young victims and when one of the latest complainants was 15 he gave him £200 to “keep him quiet’’ about the repeated abuse.
Miss Drake said another man came forward last year and also made allegations that Hedge had subjected him to repeated abuse.
She said that complainant had become addicted to cannabis as a result of being introduced to the drug by Hedge and the defendant had abused him despite the boy crying out in pain.
In June this year Hedge pleaded guilty to charges of buggery, indecent assault and indecency with a child in relation to one of the new complainants and today he made admissions in relation to allegations of rape, indecency with a child and indecent assault in respect of the second victim.
Sentencing Hedge in 2009 Judge Benson said he had brought the most dreadful disgrace on the Church of England by his offending which covered the 1990s and early 2000s.
“The parents of those boys trusted you to care for their children and keep them safe and indeed set an example of Christian conduct,’’ the judge said today.
“Instead of that you abused that trust in the most dreadful ways imaginable.’’
The judge said Hedge had taken advantage of boys who were in vulnerable situations and he had used alcohol, cannabis and money to prolong his contact with his victims.
In relation to the new complainants Judge Benson highlighted the fact that Hedge had had sex with one of them at his home after offering comfort to him when he was distressed about family matters.
Jailing Hedge for an additional five years Judge Benson said he had to take account of his guilty pleas to the new offences and the total sentence he would have passed for all matters back in 2009.
“I also bear in mind that you are making progress in prison,’’ added the judge.
“I hope the fact that you’ve pleaded guilty to these matters indicates the beginnings of some sort of remorse for what you did in damaging those two young boys and indeed the other six that you abused in a similar way.’’
The judge also confirmed that Hedge was subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order and will have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life.