Former primary school teaching assistant from Ripon jailed for sexually abusing ten-year-old boy

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A former primary school teaching assistant from Ripon has been sent to prison for sexually abusing a ten-year-old boy.

Denise Povall groomed her victim, buying him gifts and sending him texts so she could carry out an “evil and sustained” campaign of sexual exploitation.

The offences took place in the 2000s when she worked for a school in the Harrogate district.

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But to this day Povall, who is now 61, has taken “absolutely no accountability” for her actions, which the victim said has deeply affected his life.

Denise Povall, 61, from Ripon, has been jailed for eight years for sexually abusing a ten-year-old boyDenise Povall, 61, from Ripon, has been jailed for eight years for sexually abusing a ten-year-old boy
Denise Povall, 61, from Ripon, has been jailed for eight years for sexually abusing a ten-year-old boy

The victim came forward in adulthood and told North Yorkshire Police about the offences, which led to an extensive investigation into the teaching assistant and midday supervisor.

During police interviews, Povall point-blank denied any offences had taken place.

However, detectives in North Yorkshire Police’s Non-Recent Abuse Investigation Team compiled a case that resulted in her being charged with a number of serious offences including grooming, inciting sex with a child, inciting sexual activity with a child and sexual assault by touching.

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She continued to deny all the offences by pleading not guilty, but a jury at York Crown Court found her guilty of all charges during a trial.

On Friday (June 7), a judge at the same court sentenced her to eight years in prison and ordered her to sign the sex offenders’ register on her release.

After the hearing, Detective Constable Alison Morris, who led the investigation for North Yorkshire Police, said: “This has been a long and extensive investigation into some of the most serious types of offences we encounter as detectives.

“What we uncovered can only be described as evil and sustained sexual abuse of a young child by a paedophile.

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“Povall has taken absolutely no accountability for the damage she has done to her victim’s life, so I’m glad we’ve been able to help the victim secure some sort of closure.

“He’s been incredibly brave coming forward, especially given the common misconception that women don’t commit these sort of crimes.

“Due to the way paedophiles such as Povall groom, manipulate and control their victims, we know child sexual abuse is under-reported.

“So I want anyone who thinks they may have been sexually assaulted – no matter how long ago it happened – to know they can come forward.

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"We have specially-trained officers and we work with organisations that provide excellent practical and emotional support.”

You can speak to North Yorkshire Police at any time by calling them on 101.

Alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous, you can speak to Crimestoppers by calling them on 0800 555 111.