March 2006

Man spared jail in two sex assaults on teenager

A MAN who twice sexually assaulted a teenage girl has been spared a jail sentence.

Anthony Leck, 41, grabbed at the girl’s breasts and then, in a separate incident, put his hands over her breasts as she slept in her pyjamas.

Teesside Crown Court heard that the victim pushed the drunken Leck away, and later told police she hated him.

Leck, a landscape gardener, of Sun Street, Stockton, was arrested on June 30 last year by police and pleaded guilty to the two assaults.

Nigel Soppitt, for the defendant, said he could not account for his behaviour and thought initially it was just harmless fun.

He said Leck regretted his actions and stressed there was no hint of menace or threat in the assaults.

Judge Les Spittle said he would have ordinarily jailed Leck, but having heard his mitigation and the fact that he had admitted the offences and was not seeking to blame anyone else, he could draw back from custody.

Leck, who previously lived in Billingham, but had been living recently in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, was given a two-year community rehabilitation order and told he would have to attend a sex offenders treatment programme.

He was also told that he was required to sign on the sex offenders register for five years.

The judge ruled that Leck should have no contact with his victim and would not, in his business, be allowed to employ anyone under 18.