The investigation of historic sexual offences is currently a major focus for police forces across the UK, with new reports appearing regularly in the media.
In Scotland, the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service recently reported on the sentencing of a former football coach for offences relating to the late 1990s.
John O’Neill was one of a number of individuals arrested following a widespread investigation into historical abuse in football. He was accused of abusing two 13-year-old boys who were members of the football team he coached.
In 1997 O’Neill had advertised in a local newspaper looking for boys to play in a new football team in East Kilbride. A number of boys from the area replied and the team was formed, with O’Neill being the team manager and coach.
The court heard the offences took place after a training session when the boys were taken into the changing area and asked to undress so they could be measured for a new team strip.
The 52-year-old pled guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing and recently appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court for sentencing.
He was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and was also given a conduct requirement, not to have unsupervised contact with anyone under 16-years-old. In addition, he has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for three years.
“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of such an offence to report it to the police so that it can be fully investigated,” commented Fraser Gibson, Procurator Fiscal
for South Strathclyde and Dumfries & Galloway, speaking after the sentencing.
“They will be treated with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity by the police and our expert prosecutors around the country and in our National Sexual Crimes Unit, and we will do all we can to deliver justice,” he added.
If you have been charged with a sexual offence, or other criminal offences, then contact our specialist criminal defence lawyers today.