A PENSIONER has been jailed for sexually abusing two schoolgirls 40 years ago after a victim recognised him when he walked into the shop where she was working.
Barry Rock, a retired bus driver from Middlesbrough, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting 17 specimen charges of indecently assaulting two girls in the 1970s.
They were under age when the 75-year-old targeted them – leaving them with a legacy of harrowing memories.
The shopgirl who finally reported him to police last year told Teesside Crown Court in a statement that she blamed him for the break-up of her marriage, and she said that she had never had a normal life because of his depravity.
Rock walked into her shop on four consecutive days last year, and the shock led her to seek medical advice, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield.
Mr Hadfield added: “She plucked up the courage, despite years of turmoil, to tell the police.”
In her statement she said that her whole life had been affected.
She took early retirement because of sickness, she attributed the break-up of her marriage to the abuse, she felt panic attacks, and she could not tell even her mother until last year.
Mr Hadfield told the judge: “She said that reporting him to the police was harrowing.
“She had trouble sleeping, she has had some medical treatment, and she says that she will never get over it.”
The second victim said in a statement that she had never come to terms with what happened, and she had never been able to deal with it.
She was angry, and she had difficulties with feelings, even with her husband and others close to her.
Robert Mochrie, defending, said that Rock had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and he maintained that he had difficulties remembering the incidents to which he had pleaded guilty.
Mr Mochrie added: “He is a man of hitherto good character, now 75, and there is no suggestion of further offences because the police conducted a most thorough investigation to see if there were more victims.”
The judge Recorder Julian Goose QC told Rock: “These offences have been identified as carrying a significant number of aggravating features.
“The long term effect of what you did to those girls, now women, is plain from their statements.”
Rock, of Barrington Crescent, Thorntree, was jailed for four-and-a-half years, ordered to register as a sex offender for life, banned from working with children and given a Sexual Offence’s Prevention Order restricting his contact with children.