Male primary school teaching assistant, 46, ‘sexually assaulted six pre-teen girls and placed his hand on one victim’s bottom’
A primary school teaching assistant has been accused of sexually assaulting six young girls and placing his hand on one victim’s bottom.
David Billington, 46, is alleged to have touched one of his victim’s shoulders, the top of her bottom, lower back and hips.
Another victim claimed he rested his hand on her thigh under her skirt and then pulled her onto his lap.
She told Preston Crown Court how Billington had touched her thigh, bottom, waist and hips.
Speaking via videolink, the victim said Billington touched her left thigh from under her skirt for ‘two or three seconds’ with his right hand before saying ‘sorry’ and removing it.
The jury heard how he then moved his hand away from her leg and put it on her waist before pulling her towards him and putting her on his knee.
The victim said: ‘I did not think anything of it at the time, I was only a young girl.
‘I did not understand what was happening. I thought I was the only one it was happening to.’
Billington, of Blackburn, Lancashire, denies nine charges of sexual assault on six girls under the age of 13.
The court heard that a victim came forward after media coverage of Billington revealed he had been charged with offences of sexual touching against five other girls, having previously stayed silent because she feared he would lose his job.
The offences almost came to light in 2014 when one victim’s mother had a phone conversation with the defendant on loud speaker, the court heard.
The victim said she overheard Billington say if these allegations were made public he could lose his job.
When asked why she hadn’t reported the phone call when she went to the police years later, the victim told the court: ‘At the time I didn’t want to be the one to make him lose his job, so that is why I didn’t say anything.
‘I thought about telling my mum multiple times.’
Billington worked at St Anthony’s Primary School in the town in Blackburn.
Richard Haworth, prosecuting, said as a teaching assistant Billington was made aware of safeguarding issues as necessary with his role.
He said: ‘The acts were not the most serious level of touching but they remain serious because of the frequency of the touching and the number of complaints when he was in a position of trust.’