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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 08:14 GMT 09:14 UK
Convicted paedophile abused girl
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The IPCC is to consider the actions of Gwent Police
The father of a four-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by a convicted paedophile said he intends to sue the police force over his supervision.

Malcolm Hewitt, 53, from Newport, was found guilty of two charges of indecently touching a child under 13.

It emerged that Hewitt was convicted of indecency with girls in 1998 and was on the sex offenders' register.

Gwent Police has voluntarily referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The force said there was "understandable public concern".

Hewitt was also found guilty of inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, although Judge Neil Bidder QC threw out a rape charge during the trial due to a lack of evidence.

Owing to the understandable public concern that exists over cases such as these, Gwent Police decided at an early stage to voluntarily refer the matter to the IPCC
Gwent Police spokeswoman

After the verdict, it was revealed to the jury that nine years ago at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Hewitt was convicted of indecent assault of a female under 14 and three offences of gross indecency with three different girls aged between seven and 14.

Judge Bidder adjourned sentence until 11 September for the preparation of a pre-sentence report for a "determination of dangerousness."

"This is the second serious specified sentence by the defendant and I shall be considering an indeterminate sentence of this defendant," said Judge Bidder.

Outside court, the father of Hewitt's latest victim said he intends to sue Gwent Police and issue a formal complaint to the IPCC.

"I was shocked to hear about it (the previous convictions)," he said.

'Difficult investigation'

"The police were supposed to be visiting every six months and keeping tabs on him.

"How he was allowed to stay in a place where there are lots of children I don't know?

"Nothing was ever said to us about him. We are hoping to take the police who were responsible for this to court because I want some answers."

Newport Crown Court heard the offences took place in the defendant's caravan between December 2006 and April 2007.

They came to light after the girl's mother became concerned at comments she had made while being changed.

Police and social services were alerted after the girl was examined by the family GP.

The girl told of being touched, in a video interview with a specially trained police officer.

She also gave evidence via a video link to the court.

After the case, asked how she was coping with her ordeal, the girl's father said: "It is really hard to tell at the moment.

"She is a lot happier now, but she is four-and-a-half-years-old and she still wets the bed. I think it could be because of this.

"I hope that in time she will forget."

A Gwent Police spokeswoman said the crime was a "tragedy" for the little girl and her family and said there had been a "thorough and difficult investigation".

She added: "Owing to the understandable public concern that exists over cases such as these, Gwent Police decided at an early stage to voluntarily refer the matter to the IPCC who will be considering the actions of Gwent Police in our dealings with Mr Hewitt prior to this offence."


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