Phillip Schofield’s paedophile brother, Timothy Schofield has been jailed for 12 years for a slew of child sex offences including abusing a teenage boy he groomed.
Schofield, 54, was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two of sexual activity with a child, after a trial at Exeter Crown Court in April.
The civilian police worker from Bath, Somerset told the jury while giving evidence that he had watched pornography with the boy who he insisted was over the age of 16 at the time. He claimed they had performed sexual acts while sitting apart, but the jury found Schofield guilty on all counts with a majority of 10-2 after more than five-and-a-half hours of deliberation.
Avon and Somerset Police later dismissed Schofield, who had been suspended from his job at the force’s headquarters in Portishead after being arrested and charged, without notice.
Mrs Justice Cutts, sentencing Schofield at Bristol Crown Court on Friday, told him: ‘You exploited his innocence at this stage of his life for your own sexual gratification. It was wrong on every level for you to behave as you did.
‘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. It is clear to me that you became utterly obsessed with him.’
She added: ‘Your actions and behaviour have had a devastating impact on the boy. In doing what you did, you thought only of yourself. I have not heard a single word of remorse from you, only self-pity.’
In a victim impact statement read to the court by Robin Shellard, prosecuting, the boy said he felt ‘numb to life’ following the abuse.
He said: ‘Before Tim was arrested, I felt I had no freedom. I often felt panic, stress and fear. 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.’
The boy added: ‘I feel more blunt, I feel more bitter, I feel numb to life. I know I should feel really happy or really sad but I don’t have the ability to emotionally react to what is happening.’
The victim said the fallout of the case has felt like ‘everything was crumbling around me.’
During the trial, jurors heard that Schofield told his elder brother Phillip in September 2021 that he and the complainant had watched pornography together.
In a statement to the trial read by Mr Shellard, Phillip recalled how he received a phone call from his brother asking if he was ‘able to talk’.
‘He said that he was on the verge of killing himself. He said that his head was in a mess and everything was a mess. Tim was clearly very upset and I asked him if he could drive. Tim said yes he could, so I told him to drive to my home in London.
‘Around two hours or so later Tim arrived and I could see he was in a state of heightened agitation. It was distressing to see him in such a state. He was as angry as I’ve ever seen him. The conversation was about how angry he was. He was furious, angry, ranting and raving.’
Phillip tried to ‘change the conversation’ and asked what he was watching on TV and his brother was in ‘floods of tears’ as he described the series Pennyworth.
Phillip said it was usual for him to cry when telling stories but ‘this was crazy’. He went on: ‘We ended up having dinner and I was washing up.
Tim was standing behind me and he said you are going to hate me for what I’m about to say. I said there’s nothing he could say that would make me hate him.
‘He said [the alleged victim and him] had their time together and last year watched porn.
‘I turned and said, ‘What did you just say?’ ‘Schofield then said it ‘was a moment we were together’. Tim said it was just this time and I told him it should never happen again.’
The defendant then started describing the body of the alleged victim, and Phillip shouted: ‘F***, stop!’.
‘I told him that this had to stop,’ the statement continued. ‘I just didn’t want to hear any of the details, but it sounded like it was just one time.
‘I said I don’t want you to tell me any more. Regardless of how it happened, it must never happen again.
‘He said it was just [their] time. I said ‘What the hell is that?” Schofield said he never spoke with his brother about it again.
Describing the distance between the siblings, he said: ‘I don’t have a relationship with Tim like a brother because there are seven years between us and I moved away when he was ten.
‘I never spoke about what Tim told me ever again.’
In a statement released by his lawyer after the jury’s guilty verdict for his brother, the This Morning host 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.’
Schofield was convicted of three counts of causing a child to watch sexual activity, three of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, three of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and two of sexual activity with a child.
Speaking outside court following the sentence, Detective Inspector Keith Smith of Avon and Somerset Police said the boy Schofield abused showed ‘remarkable bravery’ and he hoped this would encourage other victims of sexual offences to come forward.
‘Although the offences Timothy Schofield committed were not connected to his employment, we know the fact he was a member of police staff will be of great concern to the public,’ he added.
‘It’s important to stress that before the allegations were made to the police in December 2021, there were no prior complaints or allegations made about this defendant, and his former colleagues have been horrified by the offences he’s now been convicted of.
‘But, we want to be absolutely clear, we’re on a mission to root out all those who betray the standards and values we’re committed to uphold.
‘The public must be able to trust police officers and staff, and protecting this bond of trust is our priority.’
He described the offending as ‘sickening’.
Schofield was dismissed without notice from the force following a misconduct hearing held on April 25. He will be placed on a national barred list preventing him from working in law enforcement again.
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.’