March 4, 2021

Football coach sentenced for sex crime – judge says intervention programme needed

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sentencing-300x223By Georgina Wilcox

Grand Court Justice Charles Quin on Tuesday (3) sentenced a football coach to four years and eight months in jail for defilement after having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Neither the man nor the girl can be named.

The man, who was a respected and well liked football coach, was 29 years old when the offence, was committed in March last year, whilst the girl was only 13. The man was coaching her at the time.

On the 3rd March 2013 an incident occurred at the victim’s home that led to her disclosing to her parents that she had engaged in sexual activity with the Defendant at his home earlier that day. The victim’s parents immediately contacted the police. The victim told the police she had consented to the intercourse – believing herself to be in a loving relationship with the Defendant, and that they would inform everyone of this fact when she turned 16 years of age.

When the Defendant became aware of the allegation he surrendered himself to the police on the 4th March 2013 where he was arrested and cautioned for the act of defilement. In a second interview with the police he admitted to having sexual intercourse with the victim and knowing she was only 13.

The Defendant’s cell phone was examined and a video of two persons having sexual intercourse was found. The Defendant admitted that the two persons were himself and the victim. Crown counsel stated that the victim was unaware that these images were taken and she said she did not consent to the same.

The Defendant’s lawyer told the court the man himself had harrowing experiences in his early years, as he had been the victim of sexual and physical abuse. His father is currently serving a long prison sentence in Northward. The Defendant’s mother was a drug addict and died of a drug overdose when he was only 16.

It was disclosed that the victim has been the subject of some bullying and unpleasant behaviour in the aftermath of this incident, which has forced her to leave the . She greatly misses being part of the team and the fact that she has heard it said that the culpability for this incident is hers as well, has caused her distress and confusion. In addition, the victim’s parents have suffered significant distress.

The victim’s grades have fallen to such an extent the government’s scholarship funding on which the victim is attending school in the United States may be withdrawn.

The Defendant has coached the team for six years.

In 2010 police warned the Defendant about his behaviour when a mother in relation to text messages he had sent to a young girl made a complaint.

The Defendant} admitted that whilst he was with an adult girlfriend he was engaging in sexual relationships with others, including the victim in the current matter.

However, the defilement, of the victim was the only time they had sexual intercourse.

The Defendant has two sons – one the same age as the victim.

said, “The Defendant’s breach of the trust of the adult-child/coach-student/Advisor­ troubled child relationships that were supposed to have existed with this juvenile is an overriding concern for this Court and the Defendant used his position as her coach to groom her, gain her trust and take advantage of her. It would appear that he has used her vulnerability to connect with her, as he admitted that he would talk to her about her problems and they understood each other.”

The judge said that, given the circumstances and the breach of trust in the case, the starting point for his sentence was seven years. However, as a result of the coach pleading guilty from the outset he reduced the sentence by 33.3% and arrived at a figure of 4 years and eight months. Justice Quin also ordered an eight month sentence for possession of an indecent image of a child to run concurrently, as the coach had videoed the incident of unlawful sex on his phone.

During his verdict the said, “It is my view that the Grand Court should take judicial notice of the deeply disturbing fact that the offence of Defilement of Girls under 16 is becoming increasingly prevalent.”

He also said, “The Defendant himself had been the victim of sexual abuse and it is extremely regrettable that the does not have an intervention programme for sexual offenders and the victims of such offences – which would significantly assist in the work that must be done with offenders to deter them from re-committing these offences. It is a matter of some urgency that such programmes are introduced in the Cayman Islands and available for the inmates of Northward Prison.

In handing down his verdict the Judge said, “This is not a case in which the Defendant and the victim are similar in age. It is not a case where two young people are in a virtuous friendship, which ends in sexual intercourse. The Defendant was a mature older man and what is important is that he was acting in a supervisory capacity.

“The abuse of the privileged position of trust this Defendant held as a coach in this case is a very serious aggravating factor. The Defendant was a coach for a team of young girls. There should be no safer haven for children, especially young girls, to spend productive and recreational time, whilst learning a skill, than by joining and playing for a young girls’ football club. This Defendant, by his actions, has transformed the environment of a young girls’ football club into a place that parents now view with some apprehension and fear. The girl and her parents were entitled to consider that the young girls’ football club was a safe environment for girls to play football and have fun. The sports coach is the very person to whom the children look for protection and guidance. The 31-year-old Defendant has abused his position of trust for his own selfish sexual gratification.

“In addition, there is the further aggravating factor that the Defendant filmed his sexual activity with the young girl without her knowledge or consent.

“The abuse of this young victim’s innocence is serious. The victim may have viewed the Defendant with some affection because of the companionship he provided in their discussions. However, the Defendant was a father of children himself, and a father of a child who is the same age as the victim. The Defendant should have fully realised how impossible it would be that there could be anything right, proper, normal or legal, about a sexual relationship with this young girl. Defence counsel’s   description of the Defendant’s“monumental error of judgment’ is an accurate description of the Defendant’s conduct.”

Justice Quin also ordered the destruction of the photographic or video material relating to the victim and ordered the destruction of the cell phone containing same in case the material could be recreated.

 

 

 

 

 

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