teenage boy who accused This Morning presenter’s brother Phillip Schofield of sexually abusing him was not motivated by “hate or lies” and told the truth about what happened to him, a court has heard.
Timothy Schofield, 54, is on trial Exeter Crown Court charged with 11 sex offenses involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two sexual activities with a child.
Schofield told his TV star brother about some of the alleged transgressions in September 2021: Exeter Crown court heard.
But he has denied engaging in sexual acts with the teen, insisting the boy was over 16 when they watched pornography together and masturbated while he sat apart.
The defendant, an IT technician for Avon and Somerset Police Departmenttold the jury that he had been gay all his “life”, but had kept it “completely secret and hidden from everyone”.
On Friday, the jury heard closing speeches from the lawyer representing the Crown and Schofield’s lawyer.
Robin Shellard, prosecutor, said: “There are good reasons why society – and we are all part of this society here and the law that is based on society – does not treat people under 18 and those under 16 as full adults .
“Society tries to protect children from adults who want to abuse them and tries to protect children from themselves.”
“We are not dealing with morality, but with criminal abuse of a child.”
During his testimony, Schofield said viewing pornography and masturbating began after the boy turned 16.
But Mr Shellard told the jury: “The question you have to ask yourself, was this going on for about 18 months when he had just passed his 16th birthday and finished in August 2021?
“Or was this going on for a long time and very deliberately?”
Mr Shellard said the boy’s evidence was that the abuse started when he was 13 and the lawyer suggested the account was “held back”.
“If the boy was making it up, if he was a person motivated by hatred and resentment, he could have made it much worse,” he said.
“The problem for Mr Schofield is how reticent the boy is in his accusations. Is that person motivated by hatred and resentment or is he saying things about what happened?
“We say the evidence shows that the boy is not motivated by hatred and lies.
“This was a teenager who was criminally abused when he was 13, 14 and 15, and it’s something that didn’t come to an end until he was confident enough to deal with it.”
Peter Binder, defending himself, said Schofield would be guilty of the most serious crimes in a public morals court.
“Such cases often reveal a strong emotional response in the listener and it may be normal to have sympathy for the complainant and it is normal to have strong feelings of antipathy towards the accused,” he said.
“By the end of all the evidence in this case and after all you’ve heard, some of you may be forgiven for hating him too.
“In a court of public morals, Timothy Schofield would be guilty of the gravest of crimes, and yet, jurors, cases in themselves do not make him guilty of these crimes.
“This is a court, and not a court of public morals, and it is quite right, because of the oaths and promises which you have made, to put aside all your feelings of antipathy and aversion which you feel towards the defendant, and to try this case and these allegations on the evidence.
“You must be completely sober.
“This case comes down to the word of one – the boy’s – against the word of the other – that of the defendant.”
Schofield, van bathdenies three times inducing a child to watch sexual activity, three times having sexual activity in front of a child, three times inducing a child to have sexual activity, and two times denying sexual activity has with a child.
Phillip Schofield did not appear on ITV’s This Morning this week and the studio said he was taking “pre-scheduled leave”.
Ms Justice Cutts told the jury they will retire on Monday to consider their verdicts.