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  1. ITV Report

Teaching assistant jailed for child sex offences

Kevin Cousins, from Melksham, has been sentenced to five years and six months. Photo: Wiltshire Police

A teaching assistant at a Wiltshire school has been jailed for five years and six months after pleading guilty to seven child sex offences.

Kevin Cousins, 36, admitted two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 and two counts of taking indecent images of children. On a previous occasion, he pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of a child.

The police investigation into Cousins began in March 2017 following a report that he had sexually assaulted a child at a Wiltshire school.

He was then arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of a child. His computer was seized and indecent images of children were found. Some of these pictures were Category A, depicting the most severe type of child abuse.

We are shocked and angry at the actions of Cousins and we would ask for sensitivity to our situation and what our child has been through. We still do not know the long term effects on our child. Any careless word, overheard by our child at this stage, could damage them forever and we would ask that people are mindful of this. Our child has been wonderful and extremely brave throughout the entire investigation.

We would encourage parents to talk openly with their children about how to keep themselves safe, wherever they area, as we did with our child who bravely spoke up and stopped this man in his tracks.

– Victim's mother

Officers say the child spoke to their mother about what Cousins had done and this sparked the police investigation.

Cousins, who is from Melksham, has also been issued with an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

I welcome the sentence that has been given to Cousins - I believe it reflects the gravity of the offences committed. Cousins was employed as a teaching assistant at a primary school - he held a position of trust and he grossly breached this trust.

The victim has been extremely brave throughout the investigation and will be provided with the appropriate support moving forward. Because this child has spoken out, they have prevented Cousins from further offending and abusing any more children.

– Detective Constable Sam Long, Child Abuse Investigation Team
Cousins was a primary school teaching assistant when he was arrested. Credit: Wiltshire Police

Wiltshire Police are encouraging parents to read the NSPCC's advice on talking to children about sexual abuse.

The PANTS campaign teaches children about the Underwear Rule –

P
Privates are private
A
Always remember your body belongs to you
N
No means no
T
Talk about secrets that upset you
S
Speak up, someone can help

Most parents now recognise that they need to speak to their young children about the dangers they may face from sexual abuse, both in the online and real world, as they grow up.

However, the reality of having these conversations can be both daunting and very uncomfortable. That is why the NSPCC has created PANTS and continues to develop new ways for our animated mascot Pantosaurus to help young children to learn about how to stay safe from sexual abuse.

– Candia Crosfield, regional head of the NSPCC’s schools service
  • For more information, visit nspcc.org.uk or call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000
  • To report sexual abuse call police on 101. In an emergency call 999.