Yarmouth man threatened to rape seven-year-old girl

A GREAT Yarmouth man has been found guilty of trying to blackmail a father out of �1,000 by leaving a note threatening to rape his seven year-old daughter unless he paid up.

It was alleged Scott Hedges, 43, left a note tucked under the windscreen of the car of the victim in which he claimed he had already raped four women including two girls and said one more would not matter.

William Carter, prosecuting, said Hedges asked for the money to be left in a bin outside a convenience store and when the victim contacted police about the matter they kept watch and arrested Hedges after observing him acting suspiciously around the bin where the cash was supposed to be dropped off.

Hedges, who is a mental patient at the Norvic clinic, was found unfit to plead and did not attend Norwich Crown Court.

The jury of eight women and four men took less than 30 minutes to find that Hedges, of Collingwood Road, Yarmouth, had committed the offence.

Judge Martin Binning adjourned sentencing until March 15 for reports, but made Hedges the subject of an interim hospital order for 12 weeks.

The jury was told when police searched Hedges’ home they found A4 notebooks in which there was a reference to serious crimes including one headed “my criminal record” in which he claimed he had raped four women, although Mr Carter told the jury there was no suggestion he had done anything criminal of this kind.

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A forensic handwriting expert later compared the notes found at Hedges’ home with the blackmail note and said there was very good support for them being written by the same person.

The jury also heard there was strong support for Hedges having written another letter in 2008 which had been posted through another person’s letterbox in which he said he was going to kill and rape a schoolgirl.

The defence offered no evidence in the case, but Jonathan Goodman, defending, in his speech to the jury, said: “The person who found the note didn’t see anyone leave it so you have no direct evidence of Scott Hedges putting something under the windscreen wiper.

“We simply don’t know who put that note there by any evidence brought by the crown.”