Darren Thornton a former teaching assistant at a Bradford secondary school has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing four boys

A former teaching assistant at a Bradford secondary school has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing four boys there. Darren Thornton, 31, admitted eight charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and three counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child when he appeared at Bradford Crown Court yesterday. The court was told that the allegations involved hornton exposing himself in front of boys at Challenge College, Manningham, and asking them to send him photos of their private parts, between March 1 and July 1, 2011. Thornton, of Alban Street, East Bowling, Bradford, committed the offences with four boys, aged 11 to 13, while working as a learning support assistant at school, which has since been renamed Oasis Academy Lister Park. Ian Cook, solicitor advocate for hornton, asked for sentence to be delayed for a probation service report and a report from a forensic psychologist. Mr Cook said Thornton was of previous good character and on bail. Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the offences were “a gross breach of trust” and imprisonment almost inevitable. He asked Mr Cook what Thornton’s role at the school was, to which he replied: “He worked as a teaching assistant and ran after-school clubs, sporting activities and the like.” Judge Durham Hall adjourned the case until June 6. He said the probation office must address the question of dangerousness. Thornton was told to sign on with the police as a sex offender with immediate effect. If your or a loved one were subject to abuse at this establishment 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.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."

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