Man convicted of non-recent child abuse in Laindon

A man has been convicted of sexually abusing a teenager 15 years ago in Laindon.

The case also marked the first time the specialist Quest team, which investigates non recent child sex abuse, has been able to use forensics in a case after they were able to extract fingerprints from a letter sent to the victim in 2009.

Gary Hobbs had been charged with nine offences including sexual activity.

The 39 year-old, of Maclennan Place in Keith, Banffshire, had denied the charge but was convicted on all counts on Tuesday August 29 following a trial at Basildon Crown Court.

His trial heard he had abused the victim in Laindon between late 2008 and through 2009.

Just prior to Valentine’s Day 2008, he sent them a handwritten letter professing his love for them.

The offences came to light when they were reported to police in 2019.

As part of their enquiries the Quest team had the letter, which the victim still had, forensically examined and were able to extract fingerprints from it.

They also completed handwriting samples.

Through this work they were able to establish Hobbs had sent the letter and it proved key evidence at trial.

He is due to be sentenced at the same court on October 23.