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A teaching assistant from Runcorn who sexually abused a vulnerable pupil from the school where he worked has been jailed.
Alexander Palin appeared at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday 15 December where he was sentenced to 36 months in prison.
The 30-year-old from Runcorn, had earlier been found guilty of five counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 17, being an adult abusing a position of trust.
Palin was employed as a teaching assistant at a school in Runcorn for a number of years.
The allegations against him came to light in November 2019 when the victim, a 16-year-old pupil, confided in her mum about what had taken place.
She revealed that she had met Palin outside school multiple times and that the pair had engaged in sexually activity on a number of occasions.
The offences occurred within Palin’s car, whilst parked in a secluded area of Wigg Island between the winter of 2018 and summer of 2019.
Palin was arrested in relation to the allegations in November 2019 and, despite denying any involvement, he was subsequently charged with five counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 17 and one count of abusing a position of trust.
Following the sentencing Detective Constable Ed Flaherty, who has led the investigation, said: “I’d like to praise the victim in this case for the bravery and courage she has shown, both throughout this investigation and subsequent trial.
“Palin held a position of trust, and while the victim was not in any of his classes, he was well aware that she was a pupil and he knew that she was vulnerable.
“In spite of this, he purposefully chose to take advantage of her for his own sexual gratification.
“Despite all of the evidence gathered against him, Palin continued to deny all of the allegations made against him and has shown no remorse for the pain that he has caused, which will impact the victim for the rest of her life.
“Thankfully the jury were able to see through his lies and he is now facing the consequences of his actions.
“I hope the sentence handed to Palin provides reassurance for the victim and allows her to move forward with her life.”
On top of his custodial sentence Palin was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register (until further order) and added to the barring list.
He was also issued with a banning notice preventing him from working with children.
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, or know of someone who has, please contact Cheshire Police on 101, https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ or Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.