July 2017

Magistrate jailed for seven-and-a-half years for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy

A magistrate has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in a car park beneath the courthouse he sat in.

Rodney Fox, 49, used his special privileges to access Reading Magistrates’ Court’s underground car park in order to molest the child.

He was convicted in April of two counts of sexual abuse and making indecent images of teenage boys.

The offences took place between October 2013 and October 2014.

St Albans Crown Court heard earlier that Fox who was also a teaching assistant befriended the boy and would buy him lunch on Saturdays before driving him to the empty car park and abusing him.

The jury of four men and eight women at his trial heard that after eating, the 49-year-old would kiss the boy before, on one occasion, Fox pulled down the boy’s jogging bottoms and put the child’s penis in his mouth.

The magistrate, of Northumberland Avenue, Reading, was arrested in November 2015

A police officer said he had “no doubt” Fox would have continued to offend against other children.

The abuse was revealed when a teacher spotted the boy looking pale and pre-occupied and she asked him what was wrong. He said he wanted to write it down as “things had gone too far.”

The note said: “I have never talked to anyone about this because I was worried no-one would believe me. But it’s gone too far. Today when I was walking to school I saw a car and wanted to step out in front of the car because of this.

“When I was at school I had a male teacher called Rod Fox who helped me out with spelling and grammar and ran a computer club.

“He used to look at me in a sickening way. He would take me out to lunch and made friends with my mum.

“On my way back to the car he would get in my personal space and in the back of the car he would kiss me and wouldn’t let me go.

“I don’t want to write any more.”

He said he decided to tell someone a year after the last incident because he “didn’t want him to win.”

April 2017

Pervert GUILTY of abusing boy in Reading judge’s car park

A magistrate who used the privacy of a secluded judges’ car park to sexually abuse a boy was detained in a prison cell today after being convicted by a jury.

Teaching assistant Rodney Fox was a Justice of the Peace and had a special key fob which gave him the privilege to park in the exclusive car park at weekends.

He used the darkened car park to take a boy aged between 11 and 12 years to eat Macdonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food after he had tutored him at a weekend computer club.

The boy then stopped going to the club and a year after the abuse told a teacher about his ordeal as he had thought about walking out in front of a car to “stop the memories in my head.”

Judge Stephen Warner told Fox that he now faced “a substantial custodial sentence” after the jury convicted him of two counts of sexual abuse and of making of indecent images of teenage boys by majority verdicts. Fox had denied all charges against him.

Unshaven Fox, dressed casually in jeans and a tee-shirt, held his head in his hands and cried as the judge told the former IT worker and teaching assistant that he was to be denied his freedom until his sentencing on May 5.

Judge Warner said: “I am not prepared to grant bail. Mr Fox has been convicted of serious offences and a substantial custodial sentence is inevitable. I am remanding him in custody.

“I am asking for reports to be compiled to assess the dangerousness of Mr Fox to children.”

The jury was not allowed to hear evidence regarding another boy who told police he had been “pulled” into a room where Mr Fox had tried to show him photographs of penises under the pretence of personal hygiene after handing out a leaflet about puberty.

In addition Fox also turned up at another boy’s house where he helped construct some bedroom furniture and was left alone in a bedroom with the child. He removed his top to be bare-chested.

Samantha Cohen, prosecuting, told the court that Fox had ingratiated himself into the family of the boy and his mother “implicitly trusted Mr Fox” after he helped her son as a teaching assistant at a primary school in Reading, Berks.

She told the jury: “Over a number of years he ingratiated himself into the boy’s family and his mother allowed him to attend a computer club which the defendant ran on Saturday mornings at a local library.

“After that club, Mr Fox would take the boy, who over the period was aged 11 and 12 years, for lunch.

“Sometimes he would take him to the car park and sit in the back of his car where they would eat that lunch.

“The car was parked underneath Reading Magistrates’ Court. Mr Fox had access to it because he was a part-time magistrate at that court.

“In his car Mr Fox kissed the boy on he lips. On one occasion he took the boy’s penis our of his trousers and sucked it.

“The boy was disgusted and did not know what to do.”

The prosecuter added that there was an element of “hero worship” on behalf of the boy.

“He groomed the boy,” Ms Cohen said.

“When a boy gets to play computer games all morning and is bought a fast food lunch, it almost guarantees hero worship.”

When the boy revealed the abuse, social services and the police were contacted and police arrested Fox and searched his home on November 20, 2015.

The abuse was revealed when a teacher spotted the boy looking pale and pre-occupied and she asked him what was wrong. He said he wanted to write it down as “things had gone too far.”

The note said: “I have never talked to anyone about this because I was worried no-one would believe me. But it’s gone too far. Today when I was walking to school I saw a car and wanted to step out in front of the car because of this.

“When I was at school I had a male teacher called Rod Fox who helped me out with spelling and grammar and ran a computer club.

“He used to look at me in a sickening way. He would take me out to lunch and made friends with my mum.

“On my way back to the car he would get in my personal space and in the back of the car he would kiss me and wouldn’t let me go.

“I don’t want to write any more.”

He said he decided to tell someone a year after the last incident because he “didn’t want him to win.”

The jury heard that Fox accepted in police interview that he gave lifts to the boy and would eat lunches in his car with him but denied any sexual contact. He added that he boy had kissed him and he had “blown a raspberry” on his tummy on one occasion and there had been also been some tickling.

The prosecuter added that from 2010, when Fox started working with children, he had received almost yearly training on safeguarding youngsters.

However, he had been given a verbal warning at a primary school for being left alone with a student as well as a number of verbal pieces of advice about the “blurring of professional boundaries” with some children.

Fox, now of Northumberland Avenue, Whitley, Reading, Berks, denied one count of sexual assault of a child under 13 years, one count of inviting sexually activity with a child under 13 years between 2013 and 2014 and making indecent images of children sometime before November 20, 2015.

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