Learning assistant jailed for abusing vulnerable boy

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A LEARNING assistant who indecently assaulted a vulnerable schoolboy after making him watch a television sex education programme was jailed for four years today.

Andrew Bradshaw, 54, was employed at a school in the Capital by the city’s local authority when he preyed on the 15-year-old who has learning difficulties.

A judge told Bradshaw at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You have pled guilty to an extremely serious offence in which you engaged in sexual activity with a vulnerable boy.”

Lord Pentland told him that the sex crime involved “some degree of planning and preparation” on Bradshaw’s part at a time when he held a post of “considerable trust”.

He pointed out that instead of taking the victim to Dunbar as he had agreed with the child’s mother he went to his own home with him.

Lord Pentland said: “Once in your home you made him watch a sex education television programme you had previously recorded.”

The judge said Bradshaw would have faced a six-year prison sentence but for his guilty plea in the case.

Lord Pentland told him he would be on the sex offenders’ register for life and he would recommend that he be included on a list of those who were unsuitable to work with children.

The judge earlier heard that the sex offender took an overdose of aspirins and ended up in hospital because he was “wracked with guilt” before a previous scheduled court appearance.

Bradshaw had admitted illegally engaging in sexual activity with the child at his home at Morrison Avenue, Tranent on July 29 this year.

Advocate depute Alison Di Rollo told the court that the first offender had been employed as a learning assistant for 15 years.

The prosecutor said the case was due to call last month but Bradshaw had been admitted to hospital.

Defence solicitor advocate David Allan said: “He regrets his behaviour. He understands a custodial sentence is inevitable because of the nature of the offence.”

“He has asked me, for what it is worth, in open court to apologise to the victim and the victim’s family for his behaviour.”