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Man convicted of 11 child sex offences following trial

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A 54-year-old man has been found guilty of committing sexual offences against a child.

Timothy Schofield, from Bath, was convicted of 11 offences following a trial at Exeter Crown Court.

The defendant is a member of civilian police staff based at Avon and Somerset Police’s Headquarters in Portishead. He was suspended from duty in December 2021 while these criminal proceedings progressed. Now he has been convicted, a misconduct hearing will be held as soon as possible.

Police were first informed of the offences through a third party on December 3, 2021. An investigation was immediately launched and the defendant was arrested on the same day. Within 48-hours of the allegations being reported, he was charged with criminal offences to appear in court.

Senior Investigating Officer Det Insp 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 and they’ve shown incredible bravery in disclosing the crimes committed against them, and by supporting the subsequent police investigation throughout.

“We hope this outcome will provide some comfort and enable them to recover from the abuse they’ve had inflicted on them.

“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.

“Until these criminal allegations were reported in December 2021, there were no previous allegations or complaints made to the police against this defendant.

“Once reported, officers carried out a thorough investigation, building a file of evidence and speaking to a number of witnesses, resulting in the defendant being charged and subsequently convicted of serious offences.

“Misconduct proceedings can now recommence at pace, and the defendant is due to be sentenced on May 19 at Bristol Crown Court.

“While the majority of police officers, staff and volunteers dedicate themselves to public service and keeping our communities safe, we know the public’s trust and confidence in policing nationally has been damaged by recent incidents.

“To repair the damage these incidents have undoubtedly caused, we must take continue to take decisive action and be clear what standards we expect from our people. Where these standards are not met, we will take robust action to ensure those who let us all down cannot remain in policing.”