York & North Yorkshire

Ripon former school caretaker jailed for child sex abuse

Henry Bottomley, 87, Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Henry Bottomley, 87, was regarded as a "respected and trusted member of the community", police said

A former school caretaker who sexually abused three young girls in Ripon has been jailed for eight years.

Henry Bottomley, 87, from Filey, worked at Moorside Junior School between 1986 and 1995 when the offences took place, North Yorkshire Police said.

He pleaded guilty to 12 counts of gross indecency and was placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely when he was sentenced at York Crown Court.

Police said he had been regarded as a "respected" member of the community.

His offending came to light after one of the victims came forward in December 2018. Six months later two others also complained shortly after Bottomley, of Leyburn Place, was charged.

Caretaker had a 'sinister side'

Det Sgt Graeme Bevington said: "Henry Bottomley was generally seen as a respected and trusted member of the community through his work as a school caretaker and as a former member of the local Special Constabulary.

"However, as this investigation has confirmed, there was a very sinister side to him which resulted in three young girls being subjected to sexual abuse."

He said Bottomley would make his victims touch him, either in his car or at his home, telling them he was "in pain and they were helping to take it away".

"This disgusting and disturbing behaviour has traumatised the victims over the intervening decades," said Mr Bevington.

"I hope the victims in this case can take some comfort from the outcome at court, knowing that justice has been served and Bottomley has been jailed for a significant length of time."

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