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Man who worked with children jailed for 33 child sex offences

|News, Sexual offences

A man who worked as a teaching assistant and as a volunteer with a children’s activity group in Cheshire has been jailed for eight years for 33 child sexual abuse offences.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson, 32, of Rossall Road, Great Sankey, was jailed at Chester Crown Court on 19 February 2024 for offences against more than 15 young boys.

His offending came to light when another volunteer discovered a camera that Thompson had installed under a toilet in a hall in Warrington used by the youth activity group.

The hidden camera was downloaded and indecent images of children were discovered.

Thompson was identified as he had filmed himself placing the camera. He was arrested on 23 December 2022.

His mobile phone and other electrical devices were seized and further indecent images of children were recovered.

Videos of Thompson abusing children at the school where he worked as a teaching assistant were also discovered along with indecent images of a child on a school trip.

He pleaded guilty to 33 charges at Chester Crown Court in October 2023, including two counts of making indecent images of children, two counts of taking indecent images of children, possessing indecent images of children, 19 counts of voyeurism, and nine counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13 years of age.

In victim personal statements read to the court, the boys and their parents spoke of the enduring harm that the abuse had caused.

On 19 February 2024, at Chester Crown Court, Thompson was jailed for eight years and has been made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order which prohibits contact with children. He has been banned from ever working with children and restraining orders have been imposed which mean he must never contact any of his victims again, in any way.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Christopher Fontaine, a specially trained lawyer in CPS Mersey-Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit, said: “Andrew Thompson was supposed to educate and inspire children. Instead, he exploited positions of trust to abuse them.

"The Police and Crown Prosecution Service work hard to bring child abusers to justice, irrespective of whether abuse occurred recently or many years ago.

"We recognise that justice cannot be achieved without listening and providing support. Equally justice can only be achieved with the support of witnesses. We would like to thank the members of staff and parents who immediately raised the alarm and provided evidence to the police.

"Most of all we would like to thank the victims for providing statements. That took great courage. It is what enabled the prosecution to build a strong case. Ultimately, it has prevented other children from falling victim to abuse.”

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