30th July 1995
Date of Birth:
1981, Hughes came to the attention of police,
when at the age of 16 he was arrested for attempting to
strangle a seven year old boy so fiercely that he was
rendered unconscious and had to go to hospital. He was
convicted of assault, and placed on probation.
1985, Hughes was
briefly admitted to a mental hospital in
Northamptonshire but failed to make any real progress.
According to a friend, he continued to walk the streets
of Llandudno and look up girls' skirts while standing
below a footbridge, as well as peering into the
dormitory at an all-girls boarding school.
1987, he was charged
with raping a 14 year old girl but the case collapsed
due to lack of evidence.
Sunday 30th July 1995,
at 3am police stop and speak to Hughes who is sitting on
a bench at the end of the road where Sophie was staying
at a friends house. Sophie with two friends were camping
in the back garden.
At 7am Sophie's body was
found on the nearby beach.
At 4pm that afternoon
police arrest Hughes at his home on Colwyn bay.
24th June 1996,Howard
Hughes went on trial at Chester Crown Court, charged
with abduction, rape and murder.
The jury heard no forensic evidence linked Hughes to
Sophie's death, but they received valuable information
from three witnesses. Hughes's father Gerald told the
jury that his son had admitted the murder to him shortly
after he was arrested and being held in custody at a
local police station. Jonathan Carroll, a 30-year-old
thief who was in prison at the time he testified, told
the jury that he had seen Hughes carrying a Hessian sack
along a Llandudno street on the night of Sophie's
murder, and that he had caught a glimpse of a body in
the sack. A third witness, convicted child sex offender
Michael Guidi, testified that Hughes had boasted to him
some time earlier that he would like to 'rape a girl of
4 or 5.
The jury also heard details of the injuries that Sophie
had sustained in the attack, many of which had been
inflicted before she died. However, there was no
forensic evidence to link Hughes to these injuries.
18th 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
5th September 1997,
the Court of Appeal gave Howard Hughes leave to appeal
against his conviction for the abduction, rape and
murder of Sophie Hook. Two weeks later, the Court of
Appeal rejected Hughes's bid to have his convictions
4th September 2001, Hughes's second appeal took
place, 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. Hughes then decided to take his case to the
European Court of Human Rights, but has so far yet to do
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