A “manipulative” primary school supply teacher has been found guilty of sexually assaulting six pupils at his place of work between March and May 2019 in North Yorkshire.
Jonathan Clayton, 27, from Stockton-on Tees, denied the allegations during the trial at Teesside Crown Court.
Clayton, when denying the allegations, 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. However, he was found guilty of 13 sex assault charges on girls aged between seven and eleven.
The school in question cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the identity of the victims.
It emerged that Clayton had previously faced a similar allegation of sexual assault involving a pupil at a previous school he was teaching at in 2017, although charges were dropped. The head of the school told the court they had no idea about the original claims in 2017.
A spokesman for the school said that all of the statutory checks relating to the candidate were clear but information relating to the previous allegations was withheld 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.
Detective Constable Gillian Gowling, from North Yorkshire Police, who was leading the investigation said:
“Jonathan Clayton is a very manipulative individual who used his trusted position as a teacher to touch these young and vulnerable girls for his own sexual gratification”.
DC Gowling added:
“Due to the young age of the victims involved, it has been a complex and sensitive investigation. I hope that the outcome at court will help these very brave girls and their families to move on from this terrible experience, safe in the knowledge that justice has been served against the man responsible and he will never be allowed to teach children again.”
His Honour, Judge Howard Crowson has told Clayton to expect a prison sentence when he was remanded into custody for sentence at Teesside Crown Court on 26 February .
Judge Howard Crowson remanded Clayton in custody 26 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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