5th Jul, 2022

Coventry nursery nurse jailed after 3-year-old boy tells mum of sexual abuse

Editorial Correspondent 8th Feb, 2018 Updated: 9th Feb, 2018

A MOTHER was horrified when she picked up her young son from a Coventry nursery and was innocently told by the three-year-old what a male staff member had done to him that day.

And perverted James Riley could now spend more than 11 years in jail – after a jury took just 32 minutes to convict him of sexually assaulting the little boy last year.

He had denied a charge of assault by penetration, but was found guilty after the jury heard he had admitted offences of possessing indecent images showing identical acts on young boys.

Riley (42) of Widdrington Road, Coventry, was jailed for 11-and-a-half years, with concurrent nine-month sentences for the three indecent images offences.

But Recorder Anupama Thompson defined him as ‘an offender of particular concern’ – which means that after serving half the prison term, he will only be released if the Parole Board decides it is safe to do so.

When he is finally freed, Riley, who also has to register as a sex offender for life, will be on licence for the rest of the sentence and for a further 12 months.

Prosecutor Jennifer Josephs said in the car the youngster, keen to talk about what had gone on during the day, innocently told her where James had “put his finger”, adding: “I wasn’t being naughty. It felt strange.”

His mother called the police.

Miss Josephs put to the jury: “What are three- and four-year-old boys interested in? Playing with sand, playing with toys, Spiderman, colouring-in, and television.

“That is exactly what this three-year-old was interested in. What he was not interested in doing were sexual acts with the nursery nurse who should have been caring for him.”

The incident took place in the toilet at the nursery, which cannot be named, where the toilet door was kept locked and children used it under supervision. Riley claimed he never went in there with the little boy because he ‘never needed to.’

Miss Josephs told the jury: “Ultimately he was caught out by his own i-Pad.”

Adam Western, defending, argued: “This case really depends on that little boy’s evidence, and what you make of it.”

He pointed out there was no medical evidence to support what the boy said. After the jury’s verdict, Mr Western said there was no evidence the offence was planned.

Recorder Thompson responded: “But what is clear is he had looked at these images, and understood his desires, in the full knowledge he was going to work with young children every day and, knowing the danger he presented, he didn’t remove himself from that situation.”

Jailing Riley, she told him: “You have been convicted by the jury on overwhelming evidence of your behaviour towards a three-year-old boy who had been entrusted into your care.

“Day after day, up and down this country, parents take their children to nurseries, and trust that they are leaving their children with people who they can trust.

“Your behaviour was against everything any parent would expect someone in your position to do.

“Fortunately, he is an articulate little boy who immediately told his parents what had happened, and they were able to take action to ensure nothing similar happened to him again or to other children in your care.

“You had a sexual interest in young children, yet you still went to work every day to a place where you had unfettered access to young children. You were in a position of trust which you abused.”

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