January 2019: Now released. Spotted back in Bridlington
Paedophile bus driver’s sentence cut
A school bus driver who carried out a string of sex attacks on young children has had his jail term slashed by Appeal Court judges.
Paul Tucka, 44, of Newstead Crescent, Bridlington, indecently assaulted two boys and three girls over a 15-year period, as well as raping one of his victims, a girl who was just 10 years old.
He was convicted of 14 sex offences and sentenced to a total of 20 years behind bars at Hull Crown Court in June 2007.
On Monday, Lord Justice Hooper told London’s Appeal Court that Tucka plied his victims with alcohol and made them watch pornographic films.
Tucka, who began his crime spree when he targeted a five-year-old boy, threatened his victims to keep quiet about the abuse and even told one young girl “no-one would ever like her if she complained”.
Lord Justice Hooper ruled Tucka’s 20-year jail term “manifestly excessive” and reduced it by a quarter to 15 years.
However, he dismissed arguments that Tucka’s rape conviction should be overturned because of flaws in the trial judge’s summing up to the jury.
“It cannot be said this conviction was unsafe,” concluded the appeal judge.
A PAEDOPHILE has been sent to prison for 20 years for a series of horrific sex assaults on five different children.
Paul Tucka, 42, was jailed on Tuesday, at the end of a week-long trial, for grooming, bribing and threatening his victims during a 15-year period of offending.
Tucka, formerly of Newstead Crescent, Bridlington, was described in Hull Crown Court as a determined and prolific paedophile whose sexual appetite had robbed youngsters of their childhood.
Passing sentence, Judge Roger Thorne QC told Tucka: “You have been found guilty on the clearest possible evidence of appalling behaviour to five children aged between five and 12 years old.
“The offences are substantial in number. You were persistent, using bribes, grooming, alcohol and pornographic magazines, threatening them if they did not keep quiet.
“You have shown no remorse whatsoever in requiring them to give evidence in this court. Some of that evidence will stay with us all. You stole these children’s childhood and their innocence.”
Tucka denied 11 charges of indecency with children, two of indecent assault and one of rape before being found guilty on Tuesday. He was earlier cleared of one charge.
The court heard how Tucka beat a five-year-old boy with a belt and encouraged him to perform sexual acts.
Caroline Wigin, prosecuting, said: “If the boy objected, he was threatened with a belt. If he complied, he was allowed to play with a remote-controlled car.”
Tucka began assaulting children while unemployed and drinking, then while working first as a lorry driver and then a bus driver.
Tucka would offer girls 50p to rub his feet, then 1 to perform a sexual act on him.
In one incident he showed a pornographic film to two children aged seven and eight, making them copy the action, said Mrs Wigin.
One of his female victims, speaking after the trial, said: “I don’t feel sorry for him. I pity him. I have had nothing to gain out of this.
“The main reason I have done this is to protect other children.
“I thought I was alone at first. When I made my complaint it seemed more people were coming forward every day. I didn’t want to look back in 10 years and see he had done it to someone else and think ‘I could have done something about it’.”
She said she felt angry during cross-examination in court, and said she looked across at Tucka, asking herself ‘why can’t you look at me?'”
And she believed there were more victims and urged them to come forward.
A second, male victim said: “I think there are dozens more. He picked a type of person, those who were vulnerable, then he would groom them.
“He could be nasty and he could be nice.
“We do feel it is important that others know they will be believed.”
As well as jailing him for 20 years, the judge ordered that Tucka should be put on the National Sex Offenders’ Register for life. He also imposed a list of life bans on him working with children under 16, including driving school buses.
Speaking after the hearing, Det Insp Nigel Sawyer, of Humberside Police, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the young victims in this case who have shown enormous courage in coming to court and giving evidence in harrowing detail of sexual assaults.
“To hear how they were systematically abused was terrible. It was monstrous behaviour from someone who is a significant risk to young people.”
“He has shown no remorse whatsoever.
“The sentence of 20 years is welcomed by Humberside Police as it reflects the serious nature of these offences.
“We know from this man’s past there may be periods when he was alone – including on buses – and could have committed other offences. If there are any other victims we would urge them to come forward.
“Sexual abuse and sex assaults on children are extremely upsetting for everyone.
“People who have suffered sexual abuse have come forward and sent out the message ‘you don’t have to suffer in silence’.”