May 2022

Man jailed for life for ‘monstrous’ abuse against three girls

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for inflicting “monstrous” sexual abuse on three girls.

Tony Wickstead, 46, was found guilty after a trial at Norwich Crown Court of a string of offences against the children, who were all under the age of 13.

One of the children has suffered physical harm as a result of the offending and might yet still require medical treatment for injuries she suffered.

In total, Wickstead, of Scott Road, Norwich, was found guilty of nine counts of serious sexual abuse against the victims, between 2016 and 2018.

The court heard how he had conducted a “a campaign of rape” against one of his victims, and was convicted of six offences of rape against one child.

Wickstead was also convicted of causing or inciting the child to engage in sexual activity.

He was also found guilty of two other offences of rape against two other children who were both under 13 at the time.

The court heard one of the victims – none of whom can be identified for legal reasons – “thought she was going to die” during the abuse she suffered, which involved her being handcuffed and dragged by her hair.

He also put his hands around her throat and “strangled her until he was done”.

In imposing a life sentence on Wickstead, Judge Maureen Bacon ordered him to serve a total of 19 years and 92 days until he was eligible for parole.

Judge Bacon said the cruelty Wickstead inflicted upon his victims was “monstrous” and “inhuman” not only in the acts themselves but also the violence that accompanied them.

She said: “It’s plain you used these children’s bodies as mere devices for you to obtain depraved sexual gratification that you sought out.”

Wickstead, who also admitted possession of an offensive weapon, a stun gun, when his home was searched in 2018, was considered a dangerous offender who posed a high risk of serious harm to young children.

Marc Evans, prosecuting, said the offences were extremely serious with one of the victims suffering severe physical harm as well as degradation.

Wickstead was put on the sex offenders register for life.