An army veteran who lived in a village near Boston who admitted sexually abusing a teenage girl has been jailed for two years at Lincoln Crown Court.
Michael Etock, a railway signalman at the time of the assault, kissed and groped his victim telling her not to tell anyone what had happened. His wife Sharon, who helped him to contact the victim so he could try and get her to drop the complaint, was also jailed.
The court was told at Wednesday's hearing that after the girl, who cannot be identified, made a complaint to police that Etock sent text messages encouraging her to drop the complaint.
Jonathan Dunn, prosecuting, said messages was sent from the mobile phone of his wife who had allowed him to use her phone to contact the girl.
One message sent to the girl said: "You're gonna have to tell them its all lies on your part".
Mr Dunn said that when Michael Etock was interviewed by police after the girl made a complaint about him, he admitted he had sexually abused her. He said the incident was a one-off event which lasted only for a very short period of time.
Michael Etock,62, 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 1 and 4 April 2018 on the basis that she aided and abetted her husband to contact the victim knowing that the girl was being asked to drop her complaint. She was jailed for eight months.
At the time the offences were committed the couple lived in Tyler Crescent, Butterwick, 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."