Ethan's killer cleared of sex offences against vulnerable woman
THE convicted killer jailed for the manslaughter of baby Ethan Hopson has been cleared of sex offences against a vulnerable woman.
Jason Redgrave, 25, of Grimsby, is serving an eight-year prison sentence after being convicted of inflicting the severe brain injuries which killed six-month-old Ethan.
He had been cleared of murdering Ethan between December 16 and 23 last year but convicted of manslaughter after a seven-day trial at Hull Crown Court in June. He has now been cleared after a four-day trial at Nottingham Crown Court of two unrelated offences of sexual activity with a woman who had a mental disorder.
They related to having sex with a vulnerable woman who has learning difficulties and were said to have happened between May 1 and June 20 last year.
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The alleged sexual matters could not be reported until now so as not to prejudice the earlier trial involving the death of Ethan.
Redgrave had made two earlier appearances at Lincoln Crown Court in connection with the alleged sexual offences before the matter was transferred to Nottingham, again to avoid the risk of the second jury being influenced by the Hull manslaughter conviction.
As reported, Redgrave is believed to have viciously slapped, hit and shaken baby Ethan while babysitting for the tot's mother, Karly Hopson.
After the eight-year jailing, Miss Hopson, 24, strongly criticised the length of the prison term as "disgusting" and claimed that sentencing guidelines should be changed.
Today, she said she was angry at the outcome of this week's trial.
"I'm more angry than you can imagine," she said.
"I had been holding out hope that he would get more time added for this and I would get justice, although he will never get enough jail time for me.
"On Monday, it will be three years until he is out and can get on with his life but me and my family have got a life sentence – we'll never be able to forget."
Nicholas Lumley, QC, prosecuting told the Nottingham court that the woman was aged 37 at the time and was vulnerable because she suffered serious learning difficulties.
Redgrave met her after he got a job as a support worker and visited her a number of times at her east Lincolnshire home.
He allegedly took advantage of her in her home, made her dress up in a schoolgirl's outfit and forced her to have sex with him and to engage in other sexual activity, claimed Mr Lumley.
Redgrave later claimed the allegations were "a figment of her imagination" and that "she probably had a crush on him".
Police searched Redgrave's home and found a schoolgirl's outfit under the bed he shared with his wife.
Redgrave denied making the woman wear the black shorts and top, red striped tie and long white socks, but police found her DNA on them.
He later "changed his tune" and claimed the woman had asked to see the schoolgirl clothes so he took them to her home.
Redgrave, who was represented by barrister Richard Butters, told the jury the woman repeatedly asked him questions about his sex life with his wife.
He admitted it was a "stupid, rash decision" to bring his wife's schoolgirl's outfit to her home, but claimed she took the clothes out of his bag.
"It was very, very unprofessional of me," he said. "It was never my intention to have sex with her.
"This is a very serious allegation. That's why I couldn't understand why she had made it.
"I can only assume she had fantasy and reality blurred together.
"I never had any intention to take advantage of her."
After the verdicts, Redgrave was discharged on the sexual offences but returned to custody to carry on serving the rest of his sentence for the manslaughter offence.
The jury was not told at any stage about the manslaughter conviction, even after the verdicts.
See tomorrow's Grimsby Telegraph for a full interview with Karly on how she is trying to put her life back together.