June 2002

Child molester jailed after indecent assaults

A MAN who molested young girls after they carried out chores for him in return for sweets has been jailed for a total of five years.

Steven Tinker, of Dallam Avenue, Morecambe, was described by Judge Stuart Baker as a “significant threat to young girls’’ after Preston Crown Court heard on Wednesday he had previous convictions for sex offences.

The 53-year-old had denied five charges of indecent assault relating to two girls but was convicted on unanimous verdicts.

The girls were aged 10 and 11 at the time of the offences.

Mr Nick Kennedy, prosecuting, said the defendant was at home during the daytime, although he worked nights as a lorry driver.

The two girls got to know him and would do chores in return for sweets. Other girls would also go round to his home because he was giving out sweets and sometimes cigarettes.

Initially, Mr Kennedy continued, Tinker seemed pleasant but as time went by Tinker “couldn’t keep his hands to himself.

“He started touching one of the girls and tickling her. He went further and started to put his hand under her t-shirt and tried to kiss her on the lips.’’ He filmed the second girl while she sat on the toilet and tried to kiss and fondle her.

Before the start of the trial Tinker had admitted three charges of supplying cannabis to girls. One of the girls he had encouraged to smoke a cannabis joint later became a victim of his indecent assault.

In his evidence Tinker, himself a grandfather, told the jury nothing improper had happened and the girls were lying.

The jury returned their guilty verdicts after two hours of deliberation.

Afterwards the court heard that in 1989 Tinker had received four years imprisonment for indecent assault and unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16.

Defence barrister Mr Keith Thomas said Tinker’s home life had been devastated by the allegations.

Judge Stuart Baker told Tinker: “I must regard you as a man of mature years who presents a significant threat to young girls.

“Your conduct was clearly deliberate and it was persistent.

“You don’t show any degree of insight into or acceptance of your criminal conduct.’’

He directed that the defendant’s name be placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for an indefinite period.