TV host, Phillip Schofield has distanced himself from his brother, Timothy Schofield, after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy over a period of three years.
Timothy Schofield was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two of sexual activity with a child, following a trial at Exeter Crown Court.
The 54-year-old, a civilian police worker from Bath, told the jury while giving evidence that he had watched pornography with the boy, whom he insisted was over the age of 16 at that time, and they had masturbated while sitting apart, but denied performing sexual acts on the teenager.
The jury found him guilty on all counts with a majority of 10-2 after more than five-and-a-half hours of deliberation.
Jurors heard previously the defendant told his elder brother Phillip in September 2021 that he and the complainant had watched pornography together.
In a statement released by his lawyer after the guilty verdict, Phillip Schofield said: ‘My overwhelming concern is and has always been for the wellbeing of the victim and his family. I hope that their privacy will now be respected.’
He continued: ‘If any crime had ever been confessed to me by my brother, I would have acted immediately to protect the victim and their family. These are despicable crimes, and I welcome the guilty verdicts. As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother.’
The boy, who alleged the offending started when he was 13, told the jury he felt ’emotionally blackmailed’ by Schofield and ‘forced’ to participate in sexual activity.
He said: ‘I felt that emotionally there was no escape from what we had to do and I felt that there was a tremendous amount of pressure and expectation for me to fulfil what was being asked and wanted.’
The police IT technician, from Bath, had repeatedly blamed his actions on his ‘mental health struggles’ and suggested the complainant is ‘exaggerating’ what happened.
Meanwhile, his defence lawyer said that while he was guilty of ‘the most serious crimes in the court of public morals’ he had not committed a criminal offence.
But closing the case for the prosecution, prosecutor Robin Shellard said: ‘We are not dealing with morals but criminal abuse against a child.’
He added: ‘There are good reasons why society – and we here are all part of this society and the law which is founded because of society – treats those under 18 and those under 16 not as full adults.
‘Society tries to protect children from adults who want to abuse them and tries to protect children from themselves.’
Referring to the defendant’s claims of ‘exaggeration’, Mr Shellard said: ‘The problem for Mr Schofield is how restrained the boy is in his allegations.
‘Is that person motivated by hate and spite or is he saying things about what happened? We say the evidence shows the boy is not motivated by hate and lies.’
Schofield was convicted of three counts of causing a child to watch sexual activity, three of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, three of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, and two of sexual activity with a child.
“This Morning” confirmed last week that host Philip would not be returning to the show for weeks after he chose to take time off during the trial.