Former football coach found guilty of historic sexual offences against boys

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A former football coach and youth activist has been found guilty of committing sex crimes against boys over a period of three decades.

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David Hughes, 66, from south London, was convicted of 14 offenses against four boys aged between eight and 15.

In a trial at Croydon Crown Court, he was found guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a 13- to 15-year-old boy, and two counts of engaging in sexual activity with the same boy.


The Metropolitan Police said the first 10 crimes occurred between 1988 and 1995, when Hughes was employed as a youth worker in New Eddington and as a volunteer football coach. Further offenses were committed independently of their employment in 2017 and 2018.

According to Scotland Yard, on three occasions he had bought football tops or football boots before attacking the boys.

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He groomed a boy for a trip to the cinema to see Jurassic Park in 1993, in addition to giving him attention and other gifts.

The force said that he sexually assaulted another boy during an organized camp visit.

Upon his arrest in December 2018, Hughes of King Henry Drive carried a black holdall with children’s underwear with him. During the search of his address, more items of new underwear were found.

He was charged in February 2020 and remanded to custody before the provisional sentencing on November 25.

“In committing these crimes, Hughes exhibited nearly 30 years of premeditated, violent behavior,” said Detective Constable Dave Brewster of the Met’s central specialist crime team.

“Hughes worked as a youth activist and children’s football coach in New Eddington in the 1980s and 1990s, seeking employment and other opportunities that gave him access to children.

“He should have been someone the kids and their families could rely on. Hughes betrayed this trust, abusing vulnerable children, who described feeling shame and embarrassment, unable to explain what had happened to them.

“Those who suffered at the hands of Hughes in the 1990s describe how their crime continues to affect them today and say their reports to the police in 2018 and 2019 were an important step in ‘moving on’ with their lives. was the step.

“It is only through the bravery of all the victims in this case to report the abuse they have suffered and to support the police investigation that Hughes has been convicted of these crimes.

“If you have been the victim of abuse, no matter how long ago, please report it to the police so we can help you.”

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