Luke McHugh, 20, was just moments away from “forever changing the young sisters little lives” when their dad scared him off after he heard him enter their house
Image: Liverpool Echo)
A paedophile climbed through the bedroom window of two sleeping sisters to sexually assault them, only to be scared off by their dad moments before he carried out the abuse.
Now their distraught mother is tormented by what happened and said she is overwhelmed by the guilt she feels “for not having protected the people who need me the most.”
The mum has praised her husband for disturbing Luke McHugh after he climbed through their daughters’ open window during the early hours of the morning and was just moments away from “forever changing their little lives,” reports the Liverpool Echo.
The woman explained how confusion over the break-in and what may have motivated it changed to horror when the police finally identified McHugh from CCTV weeks later. He was in secure accommodation after a number of previous convictions, linked to the sexual abuse of children.
One saw him demand an eight-year-old girl send him naked pictures of her and threatening to kidnap her if she did not comply.
Describing the moment officers confirmed McHugh’s identity to her, the girls’ mum said her life “changed forever”.
She said: “This man wanted to make our wonderful and precious girls his victims. This really is any parent’s worst nightmare.”
Her husband heard McHugh enter their home and shouted at him to get out as he struggled to switch on the light. He then saw McHugh escape through the window, onto a ladder he had propped outside and run off through neighboring gardens.
However, the children didn’t wake up but the mum said she still feared that her children may have been aware of part of the incident. The parents said they did not know how they would answer if they asked them about it.
She said: “I don’t have the words to explain the torment I feel knowing he was moments away from forever changing their little lives purely for his perverse and abhorrent sexual gratification.
“The events have been truly traumatic and the guilt I feel for not having protected the people who need me the most is overwhelming. My husband and I have yet to decide if, when they’re adults, we will tell our daughters the truth when they ask ‘but why was that man in our bedroom last night Mummy?’”
When McHugh was arrested at his home, officers found items of children’s clothing in his room. More children’s clothing was found in a bag which also contained some unused condoms and a sexual lubricant.
McHugh, 20, was jailed for ten years when he appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday after he admitted one count of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.
McHugh was not supposed to be able to leave his secure accommodation without supervision because of his risk to children but he tampered with the window of his bedroom to escape and target the family home.
In a statement to the court, the girls’ mother said her relief at him being stopped was tempered by constant worry about what could have happened to her children.
McHugh initially denied that he was breaking into the home to commit a sexual offense and had originally been charged with burglary.
Yet the judge in his case, Robert Trevor-Jones, told him he had no doubt that he would have sexually assaulted the girls.
Speaking after the case, district crown prosecutor Keith Drummond of CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said prosecutors were determined to prove McHugh’s intent.
Mr Drummond said: “The Crown Prosecution’s Service’s case was that Luke McHugh was intending to commit a child sexual offense when he broke into this house.
“He has seen items outside and inside the house that indicated children lived there and targeted it accordingly.
“This, combined with the items found in his own accommodation, his sexual interest in children and his previous record for sexual offenses against children, made the CPS determined that the charges he faced addressed the full extent and intention of his actions on that night. ”