Tees

Jonathan Clayton: Primary school supply teacher guilty of sexual abuse

Jonathan Clayton
Image caption Jonathan Clayton carried out sexual assaults on primary school pupils as young as seven

A primary school supply teacher has been convicted of sexually assaulting six pupils at his place of work.

Jonathan Clayton, 27, from Stockton, was found guilty of 13 sex assault charges on girls aged between seven and 11 in North Yorkshire.

He had faced a similar allegation involving a pupil at a previous school he was teaching at in 2017, although charges were dropped.

He was remanded in custody for sentence at Teesside Crown Court on 26 February.

Clayton had said there was nothing sexual about his behaviour but admitted he hugged children, helped them get dressed - even though they were old enough to dress themselves - and let them sit on his knee.

'Suitable to work'

The head of the school told the court they had no idea about the original claims in 2017.

Supply teacher firm Vision for Education said information about the first allegation was "withheld" and claimed that the first school, where Clayton worked between 2016 to 2017, recommended him.

A spokeswoman said: "In this instance, all of the statutory checks relating to the candidate were clear but information relating to the previous allegations was withheld from us and, instead, the school where the first allegations were made expressly confirmed that the candidate was suitable to work with children and that they would recommend the candidate for employment."

The spokeswoman added they suspended Clayton immediately after they were informed about the latest accusations, made at the second school last year.

Richard Crane, Durham County Council's head of education and skills, said that after the first allegation was made "appropriate steps were taken by the school and relevant agencies were informed".

Det Con Gillian Gowling from North Yorkshire Police said: "Clayton had abused the trust of young girls in his care and took advantage of his position as their primary school teacher."

Judge Howard Crowson remanded Clayton in custody after learning he had tried to find work in China after he was barred from working in the UK following the latest allegations.

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