March 2018

Former Salvation Army members convicted of sexual abuse in 70s and 80s

Three men have today been found guilty of sexually abusing young female members of the Salvation Army in Blackpool in the 1970s and 1980s.

William Tomkinson, 70, Trevor Worthington, 88, and his son Philip Worthington, 64, were found guilty at Preston Crown Court of a total of 23 offences relating to two victims.

The charges included indecent assault, indecency with a child and attempted rape. The offending took place in a number of locations around Blackpool including at the Blackpool Salvation Army Citadel.

Derek Smith, 68, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault against one of the women at an earlier hearing.

William Tomkinson first abused one of the girls in the 1970s when she was 11 years old whilst giving her a lift home. He was treasurer for the Salvation Army at the time. Philip Worthington began to abuse the same girl when she was 13 years old and Derek Smith abused her when she was 14 years old.

When the victim told Trevor Worthington about the abuse, including that his son had been one of the perpetrators, Worthington himself began abusing her.

During a police investigation into the first victim’s allegations, a second victim came forward to report that Tomkinson and Philip Worthington had sexually abused her in the 1980s, from when she was 15 years old.

Sophie Rozdolskyj for the CPS said:

“These men abused their positions of high standing in the community to take advantage of two young and trusting girls.

“Three of the men consistently denied the allegations throughout the investigation and prosecution. However the CPS presented a strong case to the jury which included compelling evidence from the two women who were abused by these men.

“I would like to pay tribute to them for coming forward and giving their evidence to the court.”

 

Notes to editors

  • Sophie Rozdolskyj is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West

  • William Tomkinson [29.6.1947] was found guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault.

  • Trevor Worthington [29.9.1929] was found guilty of one count of indecent assault.

  • Philip Worthington [3.10.1953] was found guilty of nine counts of indecent assault, one count of indecency with a child and two counts of attempted rape.

  • Derek Smith [24.7.1949] pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault in April 2017 and a third count of indecent assault in October 2017.

  • The men will be sentenced at a future date. For media enquiries please call 0203 357 0478