Supply teacher jailed for sexual touching of girls as young as seven at Yorkshire school

A "manipulative" supply teacher who preyed on six girls at a North Yorkshire school has been jailed.

Jonathan Philip Clayton, 27, was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years after being found guilty of 13 charges of sexual touching of girls, the youngest of whom was just seven.

Clayton was working at a school in North Yorkshire, which cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, when he committed the offences between March and May 2019.

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His six victims were aged between seven and 11, and were often touched when upset and turning to him for comfort, North Yorkshire Police said.

Jonathan Clayton, jailed for sexual touching of girls at a North Yorkshire School

On other occasions, Clayton "helped" to put on girls' tights and clothing when they did not need assistance.

Clayton, from Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees, has also been placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for life and received an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order in the sentencing at Teesside Crown Court today (Monday).

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Detective Constable Gillian Gowling, the North Yorkshire Police officer who led the investigation, said: “Jonathan Clayton is a very manipulative individual who used his trusted position as a teacher to touch these very young and vulnerable girls for his own sexual gratification.

“He displayed an extremely worrying pattern of behaviour where he would take advantage of situations that arose at school to put his hands on the victims. This was usually when the youngsters were upset and he carried out the abuse under the guise of providing comforting.

"There were also occasions when he supposedly ‘helped’ the victims to put on or adjust items of clothing, including tights, when they clearly did not require such help.”

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.”