When news happens, text CIT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire youth worker 'told blatant lies' after sex offence arrest
3:00pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 in East Lancashire
A YOUTH project worker ‘told blatant lies’ after being arrested on suspicion of sexual offences against a 14-year-old boy, a court was told.
Christopher Midgley, 26, who worked at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy as part of the school’s Entrepreneurship team denies four charges of sexual activity with a child under 16 while in a position of trust.
Midgley, 26, of Brookside, Coppull, Chorley, originally met the boy in the course of his work at the school in 2010, the court heard.
They later communicated online before agreeing to meet.
The alleged victim told the court they ‘kissed on the lips and hugged’ after meeting in Midgley’s car on several occasions outside school.
The court heard that on some of the ‘20 or 30 occasions they met’, the pair drove to moors overlooking Burnley, near wind energy turbines.
One of the charges relate to when the boy was 14 and three specimen charges relate to when he was 15.
The jury was shown pictures of the pair in intimate poses, Midgley with his shirt unbuttoned and the boy topless.
The boy said he had taken the pictures during their meetings.
Police became involved after the boy told a friend about his relationship with Midgley and his mother realised he worked at the school.
Midgley’s defence claim the boy was motivated by jealously and had fabricated the story.
Principal at Darwen Academy Brendan Loughlin told the court that in his role at the school Midgley had been given guidelines to follow about any inappropriate behaviour from students.
Midgley acknowledged he had received and understood this guidance.
The court heard that Midgley was also a Chorley District Scouts young leader and had previously worked for the Prince’s Trust so would have been aware of his responsibilities towards children.
On the fourth day of a trial at Preston Crown Court, prosecutor Kathryn Johnson told a jury of six men and six women that the alleged victim was ‘an honest, reliable and creditable witness’.
She said: “Why would he tell the lies that Mr Midgley says he is?
“He is a reluctant witness. He said ‘I don’t want to do this but I have to’.
“He did not contact police the matter was out of his hands.”
After being shown the photographs in interview, Midgley told police he had originally rejected the boy’s original advances but the pair had developed a relationship when he was older.