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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Steven Morris

Phillip Schofield’s brother found guilty of sexually abusing teenage boy

Timothy Schofield covering his head as he left Exeter crown court on Thursday.
Timothy Schofield covering his head as he left Exeter crown court on Thursday. Photograph: Matt Keeble/PA

The brother of Phillip Schofield has been found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy over three years, prompting the television presenter to say he has disowned his sibling.

Timothy Schofield, 54, a civilian police worker with Avon and Somerset police, had denied 11 offences but was convicted by a jury at Exeter crown court on all counts.

Robin Shellard, prosecuting, had told the jury the offending began when the boy was 13. He said: “This was a teenager who was criminally abused when he was 13, 14 and 15, and it is something that only came to an end when he was sure enough to deal with it.”

Timothy Schofield was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy over three years.
Timothy Schofield was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy over three years. Photograph: Avon and Somerset Police/PA

In a statement released after the verdict, Phillip Schofield said: “My overwhelming concern is and has always been for the wellbeing of the victim and his family. I hope that their privacy will now be respected.

“If any crime had ever been confessed to me by my brother, I would have acted immediately to protect the victim and their family.

“These are despicable crimes, and I welcome the guilty verdicts. As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother.”

Avon and Somerset police said Timothy Schofield was based at its headquarters in Portishead and was suspended from duty in December 2021 when the allegations were first made. A misconduct hearing will now be held.

DI Keith Smith said: “This defendant has exploited and abused the victim by carrying out a sickening series of offences over a significant period of time. The impact on the victim has been immense.

“Although the defendant does not work in a public-facing role, and the offences are not linked to his employment, we know the fact he works for the police will be a matter of public concern.”

Timothy Schofield was charged with 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019.

He was convicted of two counts of sexual activity with a child, three of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, three of causing a child to watch sexual activity and three of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. He was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing at Bristol crown court on 19 May.

The court was told the offences emerged after the complainant was persuaded to see two counsellors and revealed what had been going on. The police were alerted and Schofield was arrested within 48 hours at his home in Bath.

Giving evidence, the complainant told the jury he had felt “emotionally blackmailed” by Timothy Schofield. He said he could not escape from what was happening, though he knew it was “weird and wrong”, and said he had been “forced into doing it”.

Asked when he believed the alleged offending started, the complainant said: “I would say that I was around 13 years old.”

Schofield told the jury he watched pornography with the boy, whom he insisted was aged over 16 at that time, and they had masturbated while sat apart.

A spokesperson for the children’s charity the NSPCC said: “Child sexual abuse can have devastating and long-lasting impact on a person’s life and Timothy Schofield’s actions were deeply harmful. We hope that the young man he targeted is receiving all the support he needs to move forward with his life.”

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