Phillip Schofield's brother Timothy Schofield jailed for 12 years for child abuse
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Phillip Schofield's brother Timothy Schofield has been jailed for 12 years for sexually abusing a teenage boy.
Timothy was found guilty of 11 sexual offences involving children, all committed while he worked as a civilian police worker.
He was convicted last month after a jury found him guilty of committing 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two of sexual activity with a child.
Schofield, from Bath, Somerset, told jurors that he watched pornography with the boy who he insisted was over the age of 16 at the time.
After hearing Schofield’s evidence at the trial which took place at Exeter Crown Court, jurors found him guilty of all counts after five-and-a-half hours of deliberations.
Schofield had worked for Avon and Somerset Police as an IT worker. He was suspended following his arrest and dismissed from the force after his conviction.
The victim, who said the offending started when he was 13 years old, told the jury he felt ‘emotionally blackmailed’ by Timothy Schofield.
He said: “I felt that emotionally there was no escape from what we had to do and I felt that there was a tremendous amount of pressure and expectation for me to fulfil what was being asked and wanted.”
Judge Mrs Justice Cutts said Schofield had ‘exploited his [the victim’s] innocence… for your own sexual gratification’ during a sentencing hearing at Bristol Crown Court today (19 May).
"It was wrong on every level for you to behave as you did,” the Judge said.
"He felt forced to do what you wanted, trapped and unable to escape. He felt he couldn't tell anyone and did not do so for many years.
"You took away his ability to be the teenager he should have been - carefree, relaxed, happy."
In a personal statement read out to the court, the victim – who was praised by the judge for stepping forward - said he felt ‘numb to life’ as a result of the abuse.
"I often felt panic, stress and fear," he said.
"I felt like I was trapped in a loop of fear and anxiety of the abuse happening again.
"It was only after Tim was arrested that I felt safe. It was only after Tim was arrested that I felt free - free to be me, free to be happy, free to be relaxed."
In a statement following his brother's conviction, This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield, who was absent from his usual presenting slot on the show for a ‘pre-planned leave’ last month, said he ‘no longer has a brother’.
In the statement, he 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.”
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Child sexual abuse can have a devastating and long lasting impact on a person’s life. The victim in this case has shown real courage in coming forward to report what happened and giving evidence in court, and we hope he is receiving all the support he needs to help him move on with his life.
“It is vital that anyone who has been sexually abused, either recently or in the past, knows that there are always people ready to listen and help. Childline is available 24/7 for any young person with concerns and our NSPCC helpline is there for adults with worries about the safety or wellbeing of a child.”