Phillip Schofield has returned to the This Morning sofa today and thanked fans for their support after his paedophile brother was convicted of sexually abusing a teenager over three years.
The 61-year-old has not been on ITV since Timothy Schofield went on trial at the end of March but was not be supported by his close friend and co-host Holly Willoughby, who is unwell with a bout of shingles.
Rochelle Humes was co-presenting with Phil, who appeared for the first time on screen in three weeks having disowned his younger sibling. After wishing Holly a speedy recovery, he touched on the horrifying case of his brother’s years of abuse.
He said: ‘I’d just like to say, it is really lovely to be back. I have missed the show and everyone here and also you.
‘I wanted to say thank you for your kind messages and support which were really appreciated. Thank you very much indeed. On with the show… Shall we?’
Phillip Schofield has returned to the This Morning sofa today following his brother’s conviction for child abuse, thanking viewers for their support and kind messages
Phillip said he was glad to be back at work after three weeks off. He is without his co-star and close friend Holly Willoughby, who has shingles. Rochelle Humes is sitting in this week
Timothy Schofield told his TV star brother in September 2021 that he performed a sex act with the boy, according to a witness statement Phillip gave to the trial
Timothy Schofield was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019
A statement released by Phillip Schofield following his brother’s conviction
Holly, 42, took to Instagram on Sunday to reveal shingles will delay her return to ITV’s main daytime programme. She wrote: ‘Hi… Just to let you know I may be away for the rest of the week as I have shingles… I’ll be back as soon as I’m better. Huge Love, Holly xxx.’
Phillip has said ‘I no longer have a brother’ after his sibling, who is seven years his junior, was convicted of 11 sexual offences against the boy, including two of sexual activity with a child, in a case where the star gave evidence.
In a written statement the broadcaster said his brother had phoned him in an agitated and upset state and Mr Schofield had invited him to drive to his London house for a meal.
Phillip said Timothy had later said ‘you are going to hate me for what I am about to say’ before confessing that he had masturbated with the boy while watching porn. The This Morning host exploded with rage and told him: ‘You’ve got to stop, just never do it again’, the jury heard. Mr Schofield insists he had no knowledge of any criminal behaviour and that the boy was over the age of consent at the time.
Three months later, after the victim spoke to a counsellor, his abuser was arrested. He was convicted of a campaign of sexual abuse between October 2016 and October 2019 following a trial at Exeter Crown Court earlier this month.
In a statement released by his lawyer after the guilty verdict, Phillip Schofield said: ‘My overwhelming concern is and has always been for the wellbeing of the victim and his family. I hope that their privacy will now be respected.’
He continued: ‘If any crime had ever been confessed to me by my brother, I would have acted immediately to protect the victim and their family. These are despicable crimes, and I welcome the guilty verdicts. As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother.’
At the heart of the case was the brave and harrowing evidence of the victim – and a meeting in September 2021 when Phillip Schofield had invited his brother to drive to his home in London after Timothy had called him in an upset state.
The court heard they spent several hours talking, including eating a meal, before he went to do the washing-up.
He told how his brother then said ‘You are going to hate me for what I am about to say’, with Phillip assuring him there was nothing he could say that would do that.
Mr Schofield said in the statement: ‘Then he said that he and (the boy) had time together and that last year they had watched porn … and (masturbated)’.
Rochelle Humes replaced Holly Willoughby on the This Morning sofa with Phil
Rochelle took to Instagram today to share a behind the scenes shot at ITV studios, declaring: ‘Looking after my girl Holly Willoughby’s seat this week’
Get well soon! Holly Willoughby has announced she might not be back presenting This Morning for another week after falling ill with shingles
‘I turned and said, ‘What did you just say?’ He said it was last year and we were alone together. Tim said it was just this once. I told him it should never happen again. He then started to tell me about (the boy’s) body.
‘I said, ‘F***, stop’. I shouted at Tim that he had to stop. I didn’t want to know any of the details but he made it sound like a one-off.
‘I said, ‘I don’t want you to tell me any more’. I said, ‘You’ve got to stop, just never do it again. Regardless how that happened, it must never happen again’.’
The 54-year-old, a civilian police worker from Bath, told the jury while giving evidence that he had watched pornography with the boy, whom he insisted was over the age of 16 at that time, and they had masturbated while sitting apart, but denied performing sexual acts on the teenager.
The jury found him guilty on all 11 counts with a majority of 10-2 after more than five-and-a-half hours of deliberation.
The boy, who alleged the offending started when he was 13, told the jury he felt ’emotionally blackmailed’ by Tim Schofield and ‘forced’ to participate in sexual activity.
He said: ‘I felt that emotionally there was no escape from what we had to do and I felt that there was a tremendous amount of pressure and expectation for me to fulfil what was being asked and wanted.’
The police IT technician, from Bath, had repeatedly blamed his actions on his ‘mental health struggles’ and suggested the complainant is ‘exaggerating’ what happened.
Meanwhile, his defence lawyer said that while he was guilty of ‘the most serious crimes in the court of public morals’ he had not committed a criminal offence.
But closing the case for the prosecution, prosecutor Robin Shellard said: ‘We are not dealing with morals but criminal abuse against a child.’ And the jury agreed.
The case is a tragedy for the victim first and foremost, but it has also signalled the destruction of a fraternal bond.
Yet for all Phillip’s understandable desire to distance himself from Tim — in a statement to police he said there was no brotherly relationship between them because of the seven-year age gap — they were once close enough that Phillip took time off work to care for his younger sibling.
In 2015, Tim fell seriously ill — understood to be related to the type one diabetes he lives with. After helping look after him, Phillip said his sibling’s recovery was ‘the best Christmas present ever’.
He and his brother had also seemed warm as recently as 2016 when Tim went backstage at This Morning.
Two years previously, Phillip had invited Tim to his younger daughter’s 18th birthday party, and to watch Dancing On Ice, which he presents with Holly Willoughby.
Indeed, it was to Phillip that Tim turned — as Phillip relayed in a statement to the police — in September 2021 to say he was suicidal, before driving to the star’s London home ‘in a state of heightened agitation’.
After switching between being ‘furiously angry’ and bursting into tears, he told Phillip he had carried out a sex act and watched pornography in the presence of the teenager.
Three months later Tim Schofield, who was employed as a civilian IT consultant by Avon and Somerset Police, was arrested.
Although he did move to London for the BBC job when Tim was ten, Phillip rejoined his family when they relocated to New Zealand (Pictured: Phillip Schofield with his brother and parents)
Timothy Schofield is seven years younger than Phillip
A photo of the Schofield brothers enjoying a day out with their mother
Schofield was convicted of three counts of causing a child to watch sexual activity, three of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, three of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, and two of sexual activity with a child.
Coincidentally, both Phillip and Tim are gay men who married women, and each had two children with their wives.
Phillip, 61, ‘came out’ in 2020 but said he had been aware when he got married that he was denying his orientation.
It’s impossible to know if the brothers will ever be reconciled. Tim’s close friend John Picton, who lived with him and accompanied him to court during the trial, said that Tim’s relationship with Phillip has been a source of great pain to him.
He said: ‘Tim has spent his lifetime living in Phil’s shadow and being controlled by everyone. The one person Tim thought might be able to help him has thrown him under the bus.’
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11980293/Phillip-Schofield-Morning-time-paedophile-brothers-abuse-trial.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270