Suspected Porthleven pedophile faked mental illness after threats, court said



A pedophile who allegedly abused three young girls pretended to be mentally ill in an attempt to distance himself from the victims’ angry parents, a jury said.

Frederick Hichens, 73, is also said to have told a relative of one of the victims when confronted that he was not a pedophile, that “it was just different then”.

Hichens, of Gibson Way in Porthleven, is on trial in Truro Crown Court, charged with 17 indecent assault and attempted rape, alleged crimes spanning decades.

Read more: Pedophile with thousands of indecent images avoids jail

Continuing the case, Peter Coombe said: “In February of last year the accused was admitted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital with thoughts of suicide. He was trying to pretend he was mentally ill. A psychiatrist saw the show and it became evident that he was trying to secure a place in the hospital.

Mr Coombe said Hichens wanted to go to hospital due to threats made by at least one person close to the alleged victims who warned him he had 24 hours to leave the village.

While in hospital, Hichens allegedly told a nurse that he had abused two girls.

Mr Coombe added: “It appears that sexual abuse was the driving force behind the threats that led the accused to say he could hear voices and try to be admitted to a mental hospital.”

What Hichens allegedly told medical staff prompted police to speak to the alleged victims who all confirmed abuse had taken place but said for various reasons they were unwilling to report it.

As for the first complainant, Hichens allegedly gave her oral sex and forced something into her. It is alleged that the second complainant was digitally penetrated by Hichens on several occasions and that he gave her oral sex.

The prosecution claims that Hichens repeatedly rubbed his penis on her and ejaculated on her.

Regarding the second complainant, Mr Coombe said Hichens allegedly attempted to rape her as well.

Turning to the third complainant, Mr Coombe said Hichens digitally penetrated her again and rubbed her vagina.

Mr Coombe also explained how people close to the plaintiffs confronted Hichens, on one occasion he replied ‘what can I say, I’m fucked up, my life is over’ and ‘I’m not a pedophile, that is. was just different back then “.

Hichens denies the allegations. The trial continues.

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