PTA chairman gets 18 years for child abuse

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The chairman of a village school PTA, who sexually abused and shared indecent images of children, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Duncan Hogben, 43, of Cranfield, was convicted of 11 counts relating to the sexual abuse of children and charges associated with taking, distributing and making indecent photographs of children.

In January this year, police received intelligence from the National Crime Agency linking an address in Cranfield with the sharing of sexual recordings involving a child.

The video and images were uploaded to an online file which Bedfordshire Police’s cyber team linked to Hogben through his email address and phone number.

The same day, Hogben, who was chairman of Cranfield Church of England Academy Parent Teacher Association, was tracked down at his place of work and arrested.

Hogben, who also ran a catering business, renting space in the kitchen of a loal pub, was a dangerous and sadistic paedophile who raped a young boy, even taking a photograph of the youngster as he carried out the appalling act, Luton Crown Court was told on Friday.

He appeared for sentencing having been found guilty on June 29 of the rape of a child under 13 and taking an indecent picture of the boy.

He had also pleaded guilty to nine other charges involving sexual assaults of two other young boys and taking and sharing indecent images.

Jailing him for a total of 18 years, Judge Philip Bartle QC told Hogben: “I do not believe for one moment that you gave any thought whatsoever to the damage you were causing.

“All you were interested in was fulfilling your own sexual gratification.”

Detective constable Paul Fitzharris, said: “This was a complex case involving joint working with the national crime agency to identify and bring Hogben to justice, for what I can only describe as a truly harrowing, habitual series of crimes against young children.”

Searches were carried out at his property and devices were seized which helped officers uncover the true extent of his offending.

He will also spend the rest of his life on the sex offenders’ register and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) for life.

Detective constable Fitzharris, added: “Hogben’s dark secret transcended the cyber world into reality, involving the direct abuse of children.

“His online offending contributed to the worldwide cycle of child abuse, which is the scourge of our society.

“I would like to pay tribute to the brave testimony of the victims and witnesses in this case, as without their support we would not have achieved the result we have today.

“I am pleased that the courts recognised the severity of his sickening activities and passed a long sentence.

“Though in my eyes no jail term will be long enough for Hogben to accept what he’s done and truly pay for the lives he has ruined.”