June 2020

Derby driving instructor sexually assaulted pupils during lessons

Three brave teenage victims of a perverted Derby driving instructor came forward after reading how he had carried out similar sex attacks on other young girls.

In total, five females made statements to the police telling them they had been molested by Stuart Hercliffe when he taught them to drive as teenagers.

At the time, the now 68-year-old ran Alvaston-based Airedale School of Motoring.

Derby Crown Court heard on each occasion he would touch the thighs of the victims and in one case moved his hand close to the victim’s groin.

The hearing was told how he asked the first teen “are we going back to your place, we could have some fun?”

Hercliffe told the same victim he would have to put his diary over his lap as he had taken Viagra the previous evening and asked whether she had achieved multiple orgasms.

The grandfather said to another of the teenagers “does your boyfriend give good sex?” and asked a third if she liked to perform oral sex.

He asked a fourth if she used sex toys and asked the final one if she needed someone to look after her when her parents went away.

Handing him a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “You embarked in a course of conduct over a number of years of offending against young girls.

“You made the most appalling inappropriate sexual comments towards them.

“You were trusted to teach them how to drive and you abused that trust.”

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said the offending spanned nine years between 2008 and 2017.

He said each of the victims were pupils of his and that after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to sexually assaulting two of them, more came forward.

Mr Jones said: “Other women saw the report in the local newspaper and contacted the police.”

He outlined a number of inappropriate examples of comments or actions Hercliffe said or did to to each of the five victims.

Mr Jones said: “He told one if she wore a skirt and earrings she would pass her test.

“He asked the same one if she enjoyed performing oral sex and another if her boyfriend gave good sex.

“He asked another if she and her partner used sex toys and told another he had got a student pregnant.

“He abused the trust of each of them.”

Hercliffe, formerly if Airedale Walk, Alvaston and now of Charnwood Close, Swanwick, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault.

As well as the suspended prison sentence, Judge Shant placed Hercliffe on the sex offender register for 10 years and handed him a five-year sexual harm prevention order.

She also ordered the pensioner to carry out 30 rehabilitation days, telling him: “It is quite clear to me you had convinced yourself this was appropriate banter.

“You need to be re-educated about that and your attitude towards young girls.”