Nottingham Masseur jailed for 'birthday massage' assault

Nottingham Crown Court
Image caption The court heard Aitcheson was a qualified masseur and had offered the woman a free massage

A masseur who sexually assaulted a woman during a free "birthday massage" has been jailed.

Derek Aitcheson, 61, met his victim at a bar in Nottingham last May, and offered her the complimentary massage.

It had started as a "proper and professional" encounter until Aitcheson's "sexual urges" got the better of him, jurors heard.

Aitcheson, who had denied two counts of sexual assault, was jailed for two-and-a-half years at Nottingham Crown Court.

The court heard Aitcheson - who is deaf and partially-sighted - had set up his own massage parlour at his home on Archdale Road, Sherwood, after ceasing full-time employment around 2010.

'Sexual urges'

After meeting the woman he exchanged several text messages with her, but, the court heard, they appeared to be advertising his massage business and did not seem to have any romantic connotations.

The woman arrived at Aitcheson's house at about 13:00 BST, and had been "very relaxed" while receiving a "proper and professional" massage for about two hours before he performed sex acts on her.

The court heard Aitcheson "manoeuvred" himself into position to perform another sex act on the woman before she pushed him away, got up from the massage bed and left the house "as soon as she could".

Sentencing, Judge Timothy Spencer QC told Aitcheson: "Your sexual urges got the better of you."

He said the victim, who was "a confident, outgoing woman before this" had been "deeply affected" by the assault.

"She [has attempted] two overdoses in the last year - this is something you should reflect on," he said.

The judge told Aitcheson - a former athlete who has been given a police bravery award - he had taken his previous good character as a fundraiser on behalf of deaf people into account.

He admitted the defendant's disabilities would make prison "feel much, much longer than for someone who didn't have to contend with the difficulties life has thrown your way", but said the assault abused the trust placed in him by his victim.

"You were a great model - it's a great tragedy that such a man should have fallen from grace as you did," he said.

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