10/06/2015

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."

(MH)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 August 2015
Police Hunt Man Over Sexual Assault On Public Bus
Police have appealed for help in identifying a man wanted in connection with the sexual assault of a woman on a bus in Westminster. On Wednesday, 3 June at about 09:10, a 33-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a man as she travelled on a Route 436 bus on Wilton Road, Westminster.
11 November 2013
South Yorkshire Police Get A Mixed Reaction Over Protecting Children From Sexual Exploitation
The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Shaun Wright, commissioned HMIC to assess the effectiveness of South Yorkshire Police’s approach to protecting children from sexual exploitation, and to develop recommendations for improvements.
01 April 2005
Home Office launches crack down on Net paedophiles
The Home Office has announced new measures to protect children from being 'groomed' by internet paedophiles. As part of the plans new Centre for Child Protection on the Internet will be set up to provide support for the police and child protection agencies.
28 January 2009
Consultation To End Child Poverty, Launched
The Government has today set out plans to make sure every child gets the best start in life by tackling child poverty, which can unfairly hold children back and prevent them reaching their full potential.
21 July 2015
HMIC Publish National Child Protection Inspection Review
The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has published its post-inspection review regarding child protection work carried out by South Yorkshire Police. HMIC published an initial report in September 2014, which found that South Yorkshire Police had an "inconsistent approach" to child protection and improvements to the care of children in custody.