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.

Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

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Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

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