February 2019

Husband and wife jailed for trying to silence victim

A couple have been put behind bars after trying to get a schoolgirl not to report sexual abuse against her.

The girl, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was groped and kissed by Michael Etock, who was living in Tyler Crescent in Butterwick near Boston at the time.

The 62-year-old former army man then told her not to mention what had happened.

In the case at Lincoln Crown Court, it was heard that after the girl made police aware of her abuse, Etock, who had since become a railway signalman, sent text messages encouraging her to drop the complaint.

Jonathan Dunn, prosecuting, said messages was sent from the mobile phone of Etock’s wife Sharon, who had allowed him to use her phone to contact the girl.

One message sent to the girl said: “You’re gonna have to tell them it’s all lies on your part.”

Mr Dunn said that when Michael Etock was interviewed by police after the girl made a complaint about him, he admitted he had sexually abused her.

He said the incident was a one-off event which lasted only for a very short period of time.

Etock admitted a charge of sexual activity with a child, but denied six further charges of sexual activity with a child and was cleared by a jury of those matters following a trial.

At the time the offences were committed the couple lived in Tyler Crescent, Butterwick, but have since moved to Coalville, Leicestershire.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, said the offences were too serious for him to impose anything other than an immediate jail sentence.

He told Michael Etock: “I accept that what you did has had significant consequences for you. You have lost your good name and resigned your job.

“I’m afraid there has to be an immediate custodial sentence. The case is too serious to impose anything else.”

He was sentenced to two years in jail.

The judge described Sharon Etoch as instrumental in trying to get the girl to drop the case.

He told her “You were trying to protect your husband by seeking to protect a witness.”

Sharon Etock, 59, admitted perverting the course of justice between April 1 and April 4, 2018, on the basis that she aided and abetted her husband to contact the victim knowing that the girl was being asked to drop her complaint.

She was jailed for eight months.