A man who went on the run after a sexual assault on a teenage girl has been told to sign as a sex offender.
Peter Wilcock admitted pestering and kissing the 16 year-old on a train from Prestatyn to Shotton in February last year. He was arrested nearly five and a half months later in Bedfordshire after going into hiding.
Mold Crown Court heard Wilcock (32) from Runcorn, was drunk when he approached the girl at Prestatyn railway station at around 10pm. He asked her various questions, including whether he had a boyfriend, and claimed he was going to fall asleep next to her on the train.
Wilcock sat next to her in the train and continued to pester, including telling her to leave her boyfriend, and at times, forcing her to kiss and touching her inappropriately through her hair, on her leg and her breast over her clothing. As she left the train, she was smacked on the bottom after she refused another kiss.
The girl reported the matter to a rail guard. British Transport Police said when he was reached by phone, Wilcock refused to co-operate and told officers ”you will have to find me”. When he was finally arrested, he claimed he remembered very little of the train journey and had been chatting up a young woman around the age of 18.
The defence stressed any touching by Wilcock was over clothing and while his guilty plea had come before he was due to go on trial, he had spared the teenager from having to give evidence in court.
Judge Nic Parry told Wilcock he had shown disregard for the girl’s ”feelings, privacy and dignity” in an ”extremely distressing” encounter, although he accepted he had being acting out of character ”when blind drunk”.
Wilcock was sentenced to ten months in prison, but having served custody on remand since last August, was released immediately. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years and will be supervised by the probation service for twelve months.
After sentencing on Monday, PC Rob Thomas from British Transport Police said: ”Wilcock took advantage of a vulnerable 16-year-old girl, even though she made it clear she wanted nothing to do with him. He thought that by moving around the country he could avoid being brought to justice.
”This should serve as a stark warning to other offenders that moving around the country to avoid detection is futile. We will find you and we will bring you before the courts. I’d like to commend the victim for having the courage to report what was clearly a harrowing ordeal.”