Circus skills instructor Rhys Thomas-Samways has today admitted sexually abusing eight children over 18 years

Thomas-Samways, who had also been a Scout leader and childminder, abused the trust of parents by forcing youngsters under his instruction to take part in his perverted games, a court heard.

He spanked children and even forced them to dress up in Victorian clothing to meet his bizarre fantasies, Plymouth Crown Court was told.

A judge told him he was facing a likely prison sentence.

Thomas-Samways, aged 42, ran a trapeze and youth circus and was seen as a mentor by some of the trusting youngsters.

He has now admitted 19 sexual offences against eight children, mostly boys, from 1995 until August last year.

Rhys Thomas-Samways, of Seymour Avenue, St Judes, pleaded guilty to offences of sexual assault and indecency with a child.

Judge Paul Darlow told him when he appeared over the videolink from Exeter Prison, that he was adjourning sentence for a probation report.

He said: “There are no promises in this case. The most likely starting point is one of custody.”

Magistrates were told at a previous hearing that Thomas-Samways, also known as Rhys Thomas, had also been a Scout leader and childminder.

As a circus skills instructor, he had the care of a number of vulnerable children from difficult backgrounds.

He was a director of Emerge Youth Circus and took part in events such as the Lord Mayor’s Day Parade and the Big Day in the Park at Freedom Fields.

Rhys-Thomas was remanded in custody until his sentencing on April 11.

If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.

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