A pensioner has been jailed after abducting and sexually assaulting a vulnerable child.
Tony Spilsbury, aged 76, approached the boy in Bulwell marketplace on the morning of 11 July 2023 and engaged him in conversation.
He then asked the child to help him with his van before driving him to a secluded area of a nearby carpark and beginning his assault.
The 12-year-old victim resisted Spilsbury’s advances and was then driven a short distance before being pushed out of the van.
He then ran back to the market place and raised the alarm to his mother who immediately informed a passing Police Community Support Officer about what had happened.
Nottinghamshire Police began an urgent investigation and were able to trace Spilsbury through his white Peugeot van.
The retired builder was arrested the following day at his home in Mapperley and tried to claim the incident had been “a misunderstanding”.
He later told officers that the boy had approached him asking for money and that he was merely giving him a lift home.
Spilsbury further claimed that his young victim had initiated the contact with him after he bent into the passenger footwell to pick up a loose bar of chocolate.
Damning CCTV footage, however, contradicted key parts of Spilsbury’s account – clearly showing him making a beeline for the boy after spotting him alone in the marketplace.
Spilsbury, of Fernleigh Avenue, Mapperley, later pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault by touching.
Although he was not convicted of a specific offence of child abduction, Spilsbury admitted to taking the boy as part of his guilty plea.
Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday (3 October) he was jailed for four years and eight months. Spilsbury will have to serve another three years on licence when he is released and will also be added to the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
Detective Constable Stephen Dunn, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Spilsbury displayed a high level of cunning and premeditation in the moments leading up to this attack – striding confidently towards the boy and engaging him in conversation.
“He then drove him to a secluded area of a nearby car park, and subjected him to a brief but extremely upsetting sexual assault.
“His attempt to explain away what happened as a misunderstanding showed what a devious individual he is.
“I am pleased he has now accepted what happened and hope today’s sentence will provide some comfort to the victim and his family.
“As Spilsbury begins a significant jail sentence, I would also like to pay tribute to the victim in this case for the bravery he showed throughout the investigation.”