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Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Councillor jailed for sex attacks
Peter Hawkesworth, Fratton councillor
Peter Hawkesworth refused to resign his Fratton seat
A Portsmouth city councillor has been jailed for 18 months for sexually assaulting two teenage boys.

Peter Hawkesworth, 70, who represented the Fratton ward as an independent Liberal Democrat, was sentenced at Salisbury Crown Court.

He was originally convicted in July at Winchester Crown Court of three charges of indecent assault and one of indecency with a teenage boy between 1969 and 1972.

He was also convicted of two counts of indecent assault and one of serious sexual assault on a second teenager between 1970 and 1974.


Having seen these now middle-aged men giving evidence in court, it is quite plain that the memory is still vivid and quite painful

Judge David Maclaren-Webster QC
Passing sentence, Judge David Maclaren-Webster QC told him: "You were found guilty of serious sex assaults on two vulnerable boys.

"Having befriended them, you then showed them a life that they might not otherwise have afforded, a life of treats.

"Then you took advantage of their dependence upon you to gratify your sexual desires.

"Having seen these now middle-aged men giving evidence in court, it is quite plain that the memory is still vivid and quite painful."

Hawkesworth, from the Milton area of the city, had refused to resign his seat on Portsmouth City Council despite his conviction.

Cllr Peter Hawkesworth
Hawkeworth refused to resign
But local authority rules mean he must quit if sentenced to a jail term in excess of three months.

Tim Mousley, defending, said Hawkesworth had been barred from many commercial premises in Portsmouth since his conviction.

He said Hawkesworth, who was a member of the authority's housing committee, had aleady been punished by the way he had been outcast from society.

An election to replace him in the Fratton ward will take place within the next few weeks.

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