A Boston army veteran has been jailed for two years for sexually abusing a teenage girl.
Michael Etock, 62, kissed and groped his victim before telling her to keep quiet about what happened.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that, after the girl made a complaint to police, Etock sent text messages encouraging her to drop the complaint.
Jonathan Dunn, prosecuting, said messages were sent by Etock’s wife Sharon who had allowed him to use her phone to contact the girl.
One message sent to the girl read: “You’re gonna have to tell them its all lies on your part.”
When Michael Etock was interviewed by police after the girl made a complaint about him, he admitted he had sexually abused her.
Etock said the incident was a one-off event “which lasted only for a very short period of time.”
Michael Etock admitted a charge of sexual activity with a child. He denied six further charges of sexual activity with a child and was cleared by a jury of those matters following a trial.
Sharon Etock, 59, admitted perverting the course of justice between April 1 and 4 2018 and was jailed for eight months.
At the time the offences were committed the couple lived in Tyler Crescent, Butterwick near Boston but have since moved to Coalville, Leicestershire.
Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, said the offences were too serious for him to impose anything other than an immediate jail sentence.
He told Michael Etock: “I accept that what you did has had significant consequences for you. You have lost your good name and resigned your job.
“I’m afraid there has to be an immediate custodial sentence. The case is too serious to impose anything else.”
The judge described Sharon Etock as instrumental in trying to get the girl to drop the case.
He told her: “You were trying to protect your husband by seeking to protect a witness.”
Michael Cranmer-Brown, for Michael Etock, urged that he be given a suspended jail sentence.
“He did not consider that what he did was criminal but it was plainly wrong and inappropriate. It is something of which he is extremely remorseful and ashamed. It has had huge implications for him.”
He said Etock served in the Army for 22 years before becoming a signalman.
“After his arrest his mind was in a constant whirl. He gave up his job as a signalman because he wasn’t able to concentrate. He has lost his job and his good name as a result of this.”
He added that Etock has since sold up and moved to Leicestershire where he has recently been working in a factory.
Neil Sands, for Sharon Etock, said she had never previously been in trouble.
“She has supported her husband through thick and thin. She was the epitome of the service wife and all the difficulties that go with that.”