The following statement was read outside Bristol Crown Court by Senior Investigating Officer, Det Inp Keith Smith, following the sentencing hearing:
“A former member of police staff has today been jailed for 12 years after being convicted of sexual offences against a child.
“Timothy Schofield, aged 54, who worked at Avon and Somerset Police’s Headquarters in Portishead, committed a series of sickening offences, for which he’s now been brought to justice.
“The offences were first reported to us in December 2021 and within 48 hours, Timothy Schofield was arrested, interviewed and charged to appear before a court.
“He was suspended from duty and misconduct proceedings against him were paused so the criminal case could take priority.
“Following his conviction, a misconduct hearing was held on Tuesday 25th April and chaired by Assistant Chief Constable Will White. At this hearing he was dismissed without notice and he’ll now be placed on a national barred list preventing him from working in law enforcement again.
“The victim in this case has shown remarkable bravery in disclosing the horrific offences committed against them, and their support of the police investigation and court process has been invaluable.
“We hope their courage and determination will encourage other victims of sexual abuse to come forward and speak to the police, no matter how long ago the offences were committed. We want them to know they will be believed and respected, and we’ll always do our best to achieve justice for them.
“Although the offences Timothy Schofield committed were not connected to his employment, we know the fact he was a member of police staff will be of great concern to the public.
“It’s important to stress that before the allegations were made to the police in December 2021, there were no prior complaints or allegations made about this defendant, and his former colleagues have been horrified by the offences he’s now been convicted of.
“But, we want to be absolutely clear, we’re on a mission to root out all those who betray the standards and values we’re committed to uphold. The public must be able to trust police officers and staff, and protecting this bond of trust is our priority.
“Finally, we want to thank all those who supplied us with information and evidence in support of our investigation, which has ultimately enabled us to achieve justice for the victim in this case.”
The victim in this case has approved the following extract of their victim impact statement to be released:
“Before Tim was arrested, I felt I had no freedom. I often felt panic, stress and fear. I felt like I was trapped in a loop of fear and anxiety of the abuse happening again and again.
“It was only after Tim was arrested that I felt safe. It was only after Tim was arrested that I felt free. Free to be me, free to be happy, free to be relaxed.
“When I think about what happened, it wasn’t just what happened to me, it was who it made me become. I felt trampled on and feel I became a person who didn’t expect a lot from people and how they treated me and therefore, I didn’t get a lot.
“I feel numb to life and I know I should feel really happy or really sad but I don’t have the ability to emotionally connect with what is happening.”