February 2015

Pervert who sexually molested schoolboy on bus is jailed

Andrew-Tooze

A pervert who sexually molested a boy on a late-night bus has been jailed for four and a half years.

Andrew Tooze, 54, denied grabbing at the gay 15-year-old boy’s trousers and committing a further sexual offence after putting his hand down his boxer shorts.

But a jury found him guilty of two counts relating to the incident on July 26, 2013, after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Prosecutors said Tooze, of Torrington Drive, Thingwall, who had been drinking, “practically confessed” during a 45-minute interview with police.

They said he was “extremely candid”, telling officers: “The lad invited me to touch him if I wanted so I did. I thought he was up for it.”

Tooze said he did not remember the boy saying he was 15, but added: “I do think that what I did was still wrong, because I knew he was only young.”

However, when giving evidence at his trial, Tooze claimed he did not touch the boy and said he gave police “the wrong answers” including that he was “sometimes” bisexual, because they were aggressive with him.

He told the jury: “Nothing happened on the bus.”

Tooze did accept he lied to the boy, by saying he was 46, rather than his real age.

He said he remembered the boy telling him there was “nothing wrong with being gay”, but denied that he thought the boy’s open attitude to his sexuality was a “green light” to him.

Frank Dillon, prosecuting, said the victim was unable to sleep after the incident, which changed his previously outgoing personality.

Mr Dillon said: “He said he felt physically sick every time he left the house because of the fact it happened on public transport.”

The court heard Tooze was a “hard-working” dad with three adult children and no previous convictions.

Eric Lamb, defending, said Tooze was at “quite a low ebb” at the time of the assault and had been drinking.

Mr Lamb said: “The consequences of the defendant’s behaviour are particularly damaging to his elderly mother. He is the primary carer for her.”

However, he admitted that unrepentant Tooze had shown “no contrition” and still denied any wrongdoing, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Tooze displayed no emotion as Judge Denis Watson, QC, handed him a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Judge Watson said: “Because this boy was so open about his sexuality you decided to touch him.

“He was shocked and close to tears and moved position on the bus.

“In the interview you made what the Crown said were admissions, which I accept and the jury accepted.

“You said that you realised that behaviour was wrong the very next morning, yet you ran a trial saying that your conduct was not the conduct of serious sexual assault but that you had been bullied into admissions by the police.

“The consequence was that he and two 16-year-old girls had to relive this experience in essence before a jury.

“You can only have carried this out it seems to me because he told you he was gay and you thought that you could.”