The 54-year-old Timothy Schofield has been convicted of 11 charges of sexual activity with a child. Schofield is accused of abusing the girl for several years when she was aged between 11 and 14. Schofield, who is from Richmond, admitted to eight of the charges but pleaded not guilty to three of them. The jury, however, found him guilty of all 11 charges.
The trial lasted for four days and the jury spent just four hours to return a unanimous guilty verdict. The victim had told the court that she was groomed and sexually abused by Schofield from a young age and that she feared him. She said that she had eventually reported him to the police because she didn’t want other girls to suffer in the same way.
The court heard that Schofield had used various techniques to groom the girl, including buying her clothes, cigarettes and alcohol, and showering her with compliments. However, after some time, he began to sexually abuse her, and he also threatened the girl to not tell anyone about the abuse.
Schofield is now awaiting sentence and could potentially face life imprisonment. Detective Inspector Harry Harrison of North Yorkshire Police has commented on the case, saying it highlights a stark warning to those who abuse children. He also praised the victim for coming forward and said that her bravery has helped save others. It is hoped that this conviction will encourage more victims of child abuse to come forward and report their abusers so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.