‘Violent bully’ on trial for sex assaults

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

A violent bully sexually assaulted nine females - four of them children - over an eight-year period in Wigan, it has been claimed.

Paul Hitchen’s alleged violence came to light after a victim told police of her ordeal at his hands and an inquiry “revealed she was not alone.”

The 35-year-old of Ormskirk Road, Newtown, is on trial denying 30 sexual offences, including rapes, plus causing actual body harm and false imprisonment.

Prosecutor Alaric Bassano told a Liverpool Crown Court jury that some of the alleged victims described his behaviour as “possessive and controlling.”

When interviewed, Hitchen denied everything, claiming the claims were malicious and part of a conspiracy, despite most victims not knowing each other. But Mr Bassano said: “There is no reason for the nine complainants to have invented false allegations against him and his contention that they have independently done so defies common sense.”

He said Hitchen was a “physical and sexual bully who routinely committed sexual assault against women without a care for their feelings and who also engaged in sexual activity with children without caring about their age.”

The jury heard many of the alleged offences occurred while Hitchen lived in Billinge with his grandmother, to whom he was allegedly “domineering and aggressive” and when she heard of his abusive behaviour and told him to stop she was herself threatened.

Mr Bassano said children who Hitchen allegedly sexually abused were aged from nine to 16. He allegedly abused a 13-year-old girl while driving her to and from her father’s home. Love letters to that alleged victim were recovered from his jacket which he claimed were forged and had been planted, but a handwriting expert confirmed they were written by him and bore his fingerprints.

Mr Bassano claimed that Hitchen also twice sexually assaulted her mum leaving that woman feeling disgusted and in tears. Hitchen is also alleged to have kicked one rape victim while she was pregnant causing her to bleed and after having previously physically assaulted her on other occasions and having kept her locked in his home for a day.

He also allegedly sexually assaulted another pregnant woman trying to pull her jeans down but fortunately her sister’s boyfriend arrived and the incident came to an end.

Another alleged sex victim was struck on the ankle by him, after he “flipped” with a thick iron bar causing severe pain and swelling, but he was not prosecuted for that assault after she declined to pursue charges against him, said Mr Bassano.

Proceeding