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 Thornton, 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.
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