Henry Bottomley
Henry Bottomley

Former Ripon school caretaker jailed for eight years for sexual abuse of children

21 February 2020

A man who sexually abused three young girls has been sent to prison for eight years.

Henry Bottomley, 87, from Filey, was sentenced at York Crown Court on 21 February 2020.

He pleaded guilty to 12 out of 14 counts of gross indecency with the girls who were aged under 14. The two other charges will remain on file.

The offences occurred between 1986 and 1995 when Bottomley was working as a school caretaker at Moorside Junior and Infant School, as it was then known, at Ripon.

One of the victims bravely came forward to complain about Bottomley in December 2018. She said he had sexually abused her between 1991 and 1995.

Shortly after he was charged with gross indecency offences in August 2019, two further victims made complaints that they had been subjected to multiple acts of gross indecency between 1986 and 1992.

The long-running investigation was carried out by North Yorkshire Police’s Non-Recent Abuse Investigation Team.

Detective Sergeant Graeme Bevington, who led the investigation, 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.

Each victim recounted how Bottomley would get them on their own, either at his home or in his car, and make them touch him. He told 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.

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.

Importantly, it also demonstrates that it is never too late for victims to report such terrible crimes and seek the professional help and support that is readily available from the police or independent agencies and charities such as the NSPCC.

As ever, our message is please don’t suffer in silence. We are here to help you.

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