Child Councillor Jailed For Child Sex Offences

A 46-year-old child councillor has been jailed for six years after admitting child sex offences.

Robert Fothergill, of White Lands, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing or inciting a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity between 2007 and 2009, one charge of sexual assault against a boy between 2008 and 2011, and three charges of distributing indecent images of children. He also admitted to attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity in February 2014, and possession of indecent photographs of a child.

Fothergill, described as a self-employed child counsellor, worked with children and young people across a number of schools in the North Yorkshire, Durham, Cleveland and Tyne and Wear areas.

Fothergill's crimes were discovered during an investigation by West Yorkshire Police into suspected sex offenders in their area.

Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Fiona Wynne of North Yorkshire Police's Serious Crime Team, said: "Fothergill's admission of guilt has at least spared his victims the ordeal of going through the criminal justice system and a Crown Court trial. However, nothing can ever undo the harm he has caused both to the children he has directly abused or those whose pictures he has shared.

"Children's safety is of paramount importance and they should be protected at all times from those who want to abuse them, particularly those who are in a position of trust. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure they are kept safe, from parents to professionals, and I urge anyone who suspects a child is being abused to contact the police, or if they prefer, one of the many other agencies who can help."


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