Teaching assistant and Magistrate jailed for child sexual offences - Reading

21/07/2017

A man appeared at St Albans Crown Court today, Friday, 21 July 2017, and was jailed for seven and a half years for sexual offences against a child.

Rodney Fox, aged 49, of Northumberland Avenue, Reading, was sentenced after being found guilty at the same court on Friday, 7 April 2017, of sexual assault of a child under 13, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and making indecent photographs of a child. In addition to the custodial sentence, Fox must register as a sex offender for life and abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Susan Krikler, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved sexual activity between a man, now aged 49, and a boy, aged 12-13, in Reading between October 2013 and October 2015.

"Rodney Fox abused his position of trust as a primary school teaching assistant and took advantage of his status to prey on the young boy and abused him for his own sexual gratification. Fox ingratiated himself into the boy's family and would take him for lunch on Saturdays after attending an extra-curricular club; sometimes taking him to sit in his car to eat their takeaway in the car park of Reading Magistrates' Court where he was also a part-time Magistrate and which was secluded at the weekend. It was in his car that the sexual abuse took place. Following his arrest in November 2015, his computers were examined and an indecent image of a child located on one of them.

"It is only due to the courage of the victim that the disgraceful behaviour of this man has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to him for his strength and tenacity in coming forward and providing evidence for the prosecution.

"We worked closely with Thames Valley Police from early in the investigation to help build the strongest possible prosecution case. Their investigators, and Crown Prosecution Service lawyers and caseworkers have worked tirelessly to bring this prosecution to court.

"The emotional impact, on the victim and his family, of the actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions and today's sentence give some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Detective Sergeant Christopher Lemm of Child Abuse Investigation Unit, based in Reading, who led the investigation into this case, said: "I would like to thank all the agencies who offered help and unwavering support to progress this case.

"I have no doubt that Mr Fox would have continued to offend against other children and he had a hidden desire for underage boys.

"However, we cannot talk about this case without mentioning the bravery of the victim who showed strength of character in coming forward and supporting this case. I believe by coming forward he has stopped a reoccurrence of such offending in the future.

"I must reiterate that Thames Valley Police takes all reports of sexual offences very seriously and anyone who feels they should report such behaviour should call us on 101."