Former teaching assistant from Ripon jailed for sex offences against 10-year-old boy

Denise Povall has been sentenced to eight years in prison for her historic sex offences. Credit: North Yorkshire Police

A former primary school teaching assistant has been jailed for sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy.

Denise Povall, from Ripon, North Yorkshire, groomed her victim in the 2000s, buying him gifts and sending him texts so she could carry out an “evil and sustained” campaign of sexual exploitation.

She had sex with the child and performed sex acts on a number of occasions.

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

Police said Povall, now 61, had taken “absolutely no accountability” for her actions, which the victim said has deeply affected his life.

He victim came forward as an adult and told North Yorkshire Police about Povall's offences, which she "point blank" denied.

She pleaded not guilty at York Crown Court, but a jury found her guilty of all charges during a trial.

After the hearing, Det Con Alison Morris, who led the investigation, 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.

“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.”

On Friday, a judge at York Crown Court sentenced her to eight years in prison and ordered her to sign the sex offenders’ register on her release.

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