An elderly man who referred to himself as “Cheeky Tom” before sexually assaulting a girl on two separate occasions has been jailed. 

Thomas Catcheside, 81, was shopping in Ely on June 2 last year when he walked past the teenage girl just after 3pm. 

It was a busy bank holiday for the Queen’s 70th Platinum Jubilee and the girl was standing outside the front of a shop. 

Catcheside approached her and at first made general conversation, telling her that people call him “cheeky Tom”. However, he then sexually assaulted her by touching her inappropriately. 

The teenager, clearly shaken and distressed, immediately told her manager and police were called. 

Just over a month later, on July 9, Catcheside approached her again in almost identical circumstances. 

This time, the manager of the store chased after him and managed to take a photo of him. 

The image was then released in a media appeal and Catcheside, of Fanshawe Road, Cambridge, was identified and arrested. 

In police interview, he claimed he’d only thrown a bit of paper at the teenager and denied sexually assaulting her. 

He admitted telling his victim that people called him “Cheeky Tom” but said that was because of the way he “has a laugh and a joke with people”. 

Catcheside was later charged with two counts of sexual assault and was jailed for eight months at Peterborough Crown Court on Wednesday (November 15). 

His sentence comprised six months for the above offences and a further two for a separate sexual assault and assault by beating of a woman in her 20s in Haverhill on February 11 last year. 

Catcheside was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and given a restraining order banning him from the shop in Ely until 2030. 

Detective Sergeant Elaine Penniket said: “Catcheside’s behaviour was unacceptable, and we will do all we can to bring offenders like him to justice. 

“His actions have had a lasting impact on his two victims who were trying to go about their day when he targeted them. 

“I would like to thank the shop manager who managed to get a photo of Catcheside, which later led to his identification and arrest.” 

Find more information on sexual offences, and how to report them, via the force’s dedicated web page