An 18-year-old woman has been jailed for seven years and ten months after pleading guilty to a number of offences of child sex abuse.
Sophie Elms, of Royal Wootton Bassett, appeared at Swindon Crown Court today (28/01/19) for sentencing.
Back in October, Elms pleaded guilty to a number of offences including sexual assault of a child by penetration, sexual assault of a child by touching, distributing an indecent image of a child, possession of extreme pornographic images of an animal and possession of indecent images of a child
She was remanded in custody until her appearance in court today.
At the time of the offences, Elms was aged 17 and on a placement at a local nursery as part of a college course in child care – however, none of the offences happened at the nursery or college.
Following today's sentencing, Det Insp Simon Childe said: “Understandably, this case has shocked the local community as well as those further afield. Elms is just 18-years-old making her one of the youngest women in the country to be convicted of these types of offences, and at the time of committing these atrocious crimes, she was studying child care with a long term aim of working with very young children in the future. I am extremely grateful to my team of dedicated officers who have been able to intercept and prevent her from working with children ever again.
“I would like to firstly praise the families of the very young victims in this case who have shown a great deal of strength throughout this court process – they have been provided with specialist support since the investigation began and we will continue to ensure they and their children feel fully supported.
“Secondly, I would like to praise the investigation team in this case who have worked tirelessly and very closely alongside partner agencies in pulling together evidence to put before the courts and ensure Elms could be brought to justice for her disgraceful actions.
“Our officers will leave no stone unturned in investigating crimes of this nature regardless of how much time has passed since the offences were committed – we understand the huge impact these offences can have on a young victim and their families. I hope that in this case, the families of the young victims can take some closure from the sentencing and feel supported in moving forward.”
If you think a child is in imminent danger, please call 999.
If you are concerned about a child who might be at risk of harm or abuse, or is being ill-treated or neglected, we would prefer to speak to you on the phone (by calling us on 101) or in person. However, if contacting us online is the safest way for you to get in touch, you can complete our secure online reporting form.
You can also call ChildLine for free on 0800 1111.
For more information visit https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/article/1129/Child-Abuse