The murder of Sophie Hook was a widely reported child murder jojo: Pupil’S Book 3 PDF took place in Llandudno, North Wales, in July 1995. British child who was murdered in Llandudno, Wales in the early hours of 30 July 1995. Following his trial, it was revealed that Hughes had been linked to multiple sex attacks against children but police had been unable to prosecute either because of a lack of evidence or because the victims’ parents had wanted to spare their children further ordeal in court.
Llandudno, Wales, to Gerald and Renee Hughes. He had three older sisters and his father was a « well-respected » civil engineer and businessman operating a successful contracting and quarrying firm. Hughes’s father paid for him to attend private schools « in the hope that they would be able to do something with him » due to his often violent behaviour, as he regularly lashed out at other pupils. By the age of 19, Hughes had 17 convictions for crimes including assault, burglary, theft, criminal damage, threatening behaviour, motoring offences and possession of weapons. On 29 July 1995, Sophie Hook, aged seven, was visiting relatives in Llandudno with her family to celebrate her cousin’s birthday. During the afternoon Sophie stripped to her underpants to play with the children in an inflatable pool in the garden.
Hughes is believed to have observed the children including Sophie from a concealed point on a bridle path overlooking the property. 20am on 30 July one of the children decided to sleep in the house, although three others including Sophie stayed outdoors. Sophie’s uncle, whose house it was, checked the children at 12. 40am before retiring for the night, leaving the door open at the rear of the house in case any of them decided to come in. It is believed that Hughes had lifted Sophie, still asleep in her sleeping bag, from the tent at some time in the early hours of 30 July. Her naked body was found washed up on the beach half a mile away at Llandudno at 7. 30 July 1995 by a local man walking his dog.
The murder inquiry was led by Detective Superintendent Eric Jones from North Wales Police. In a statement to the media he said: « Whoever was responsible for this crime is a very dangerous man, a brute who must be caught — quickly. On the morning of 3 August 1995, the Crown Prosecution Service and police agreed that there was not enough evidence to charge Hughes with the murder of Sophie Hook, and he was released at 3. 00pm that day, only to be re-arrested over possession of indecent images of children which had been found in a police search of his home. Hughes went on trial at Chester Crown Court on 24 June 1996, charged with abduction, rape and murder. The jury heard no forensic evidence which linked Hughes to the death of Sophie Hook, but they received valuable information from three witnesses.
On 18 July 1996, the jury returned a guilty verdict on all three charges against Howard Hughes. The 31-year-old was then given three life sentences by trial judge Mr Justice Curtis, who branded Hughes a « fiend » and recommended that he should never be released from prison. On 5 September 1997, the Court of Appeal gave Howard Hughes leave to appeal against his conviction for the abduction, rape and murder of Sophie Hook. 50,000 compensation claim against the Bryn Estyn children’s home, where he claimed he was abused as a child.
Two weeks later, the Court of Appeal rejected Hughes’s bid to have his convictions quashed. Hughes’s second appeal took place on 4 September 2001, but the Court of Appeal again decided that there were no grounds for his convictions to be quashed. The judges who made the decision also ruled that they would not allow Hughes to further contest his convictions unless any new evidence turned up. His case is supported by INNOCENT, an organization which campaigns against miscarriages of justice. On 24 November 2002, the then Home Secretary David Blunkett announced that four convicted child murderers would each spend a minimum of 50 years behind bars before being considered for parole. Although Whiting had his tariff reduced to 40 years on appeal in June 2010, Hughes has yet to challenge the 50-year tariff, while Morss and Tyler have yet to challenge theirs as well. In June 2004, the far-right British National Party came under heavy media and public criticism for distributing literature across North Wales, featuring an image of Sophie Hook and several other victims of similar murders as part of a campaign for a reintroduction of the death penalty.
Born into a well-off, loving family, Howard Hughes grew into a violent paedophile with a murderous ambition ». Three life terms for rape, murder of child ». Police knew him for years as a violent paedophile, yet no one stopped him stealing an innocent life ». Blunkett sets 50-year terms for child-killers ». Sophie’s killer must never be freed, says judge ». Why was Mad Howard allowed to kill Sophie?