April 2002

Ice cream seller jailed for sexually abusing teenager

AN ICE cream seller from Worksop who continued to have contact with children despite being subject to a sex offender’s order has been jailed for six and a half years.

Michael Tuck, 43, of Newgate Street, was placed on probation by local magistrates last year after he admitted relatively minor indecent assaults on a 17-year-old girl, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

He touched her on her breasts over her clothing and bit her on her bare bottom, which he claimed was ‘horseplay,’ said Steven Coupland, prosecuting.

Magistrates sentenced him to three months probation and later made a sex offenders order, barring him from communicating with anyone under 16.

But what the justices did not know was that he had been having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl and sexually abusing her in other ways.

The judge told him: “You coaxed her with cash and cigarettes.”

At the crown court on Thursday last week, Tuck was given five years for those offences and a further 18 months for breach of the sex offenders order.

The court heard he had continued selling ice cream from his van after the order was made. He sold ice cream to children outside the school of another 14-year-old girl.

Tuck took her mobile phone number and later gave her another phone on which he sent her text messages.

She visited him at his home but nothing happened, said Mr Coupland.

He also attended a wedding and seemed to be courting the attention of girls aged between 12 and 15.

Peter Walmsley, defending, said there was no suggestion of any indecency with the second 14-year-old, a communication had begun before the order was made. Tuck had never been to prison before.

Judge John Hopkin told Tuck: “Not content with the earlier offences when the justices quite sensibly make a sex offenders order you breach it.”

“I don’t take it as a technical breach.”

“No other sentence is appropriate but custody.”