At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Pentland sentenced Andrew Bradshaw to four years in prison after he pled guilty to sexual abuse.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“Andrew Roy Bradshaw, you have pled guilty to an extremely serious offence, in which you engaged in sexual activity with a vulnerable boy aged 15 years.

At the time of the offence you were 54.

The offence was aggravated by the following factors: 

  • You held a position of very considerable trust in relation to the victim; you were employed as a learning assistant and had a responsibility to help and support the boy; you had known him since 2007. In the circumstances, the present offence amounts to a gross breach of the trust placed in you.
  • The victim was highly vulnerable, as you were very well aware; he suffered from Global Developmental Delay; he had the reading ability of a child aged 6 or 7 years and the numerical ability of a child of 5 or 6 years. He was someone who, as you knew, was capable of being easily led. 
  • The offence involved some degree of planning and preparation on your part. I note that you admit having met the victim on several occasions outside school and that the school was not aware that you were having this type of contact with him. Then, on the day of the offence, instead of taking the child to Dunbar, as you had agreed with his mother to do, you took him instead to your home in Tranent. You went first by bus to Dalkeith and then walked a distance of some 6 miles with the boy to Tranent. Once in your home, you made him watch a sex education television programme, which you had previously recorded. 

Commission of the offence involved a calculated deceit of the child's mother, who had insisted that you should take him to Dunbar and not for a walk, as you suggested to her.

The offence extended beyond touching and masturbation to your carrying out oral sex on the boy. It extended also to ejaculation by him; and

After the offence you made it clear to the child that he should not tell his mother what had happened; this was a further serious abuse of your authority.

The following may be said to be mitigating considerations:

  • You have not previously offended;
  • You were, until this offence, a person of good character;
  • You admitted your guilt from an early stage.

The sentence which I impose must reflect society's abhorrence of the sexual abuse of children, particularly vulnerable children. It must serve to punish you and also deter others who might be tempted to take advantage of positions of trust and responsibility in order to abuse children. Finally, it must provide you with some prospect of rehabilitation.

In the whole circumstances, I consider that if you had not pled guilty the appropriate prison sentence would have been one of 6 years. Because you pled guilty before an indictment was served, I shall, as I am required by law to do, reduce the period of imprisonment to 4 years.

I shall backdate the sentence to 2 November 2011 when you were remanded in custody.

In addition, you will continue to be a registered sex offender for life.

Finally, I shall recommend to the Scottish Ministers that your name be added to the list of persons considered unsuitable to work with children”.