May 2006


A NEWSAGENT who groped a schoolboy in the back of his shop after persuading him to undress for “research purposes” has been jailed.

Former nurse Ian McKenzie convinced the 14-year-old he was studying the human body as part of a course, and said he would pay him if he helped.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the youngster agreed to remove his trousers to allow McKenzie to examine his legs for a pulse.

But when the 53-year-old started removing the boy’s boxer shorts, he realised he had been conned and fled the shop in Mortimer Road, South Shields.

McKenzie already has a previous conviction from 1975, when he molested a young male patient while working at the old Ingham Infirmary in South Shields.

The court heard how between 2002 and 2004, when the pulse scam took place, the married father-of two also preyed on another boy who he groped and made inappropriate comments to.

McKenzie, of no fixed address, admitted one charge of indecency with a child and four of indecent assault.

As he was sentenced yesterday, he asked for two further similar offences to be taken into consideration dating back to the 1980s, involving two 15-year-old boys.

Judge David Wood jailed McKenzie for six months, with an extended licence period of three years after his release.

He told him: “I accept what you actually did was not the most serious assaults this court has ever seen, but was nevertheless very shocking and frightening as far as the boys are concerned.

“One never really knows what lifetime consequences such assaults can have in relation to young people.

“You have a previous conviction in 1975 which, I’m bound to say, is very similar to this.”

Judge Wood banned McKenzie from ever working with children, made an order preventing him from being alone with a child and said he must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Defence barrister Robert Adams said McKenzie’s marriage has crumbled since the allegations came to light: “He has effectively lost everything.

“The defendant accepts he has a long standing problem, he recognises he needs help.”