Football coach branded ‘serious risk to boys’ after abusing child

A former teaching assistant was jailed after he deliberately used his position as a football coach to groom and abuse a young boy.

David Jones, described by a judge as a “serious risk to boys”, first met the young boy when he was working at his primary school as a teaching assistant. The 33-year-old took an “instant liking” to the child and invited him to join a football club that he coached, with the young footballer doing so.

He began to groom him with text messages and lifts in his car with him integrating himself into the life of the boy’s family. His parents of him innocently thought that the friendship was good for their son and improved his confidence of him but Liverpool Crown Court was told that his sexual abuse of the young boy led to him attempting suicide and has devastated his life.

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When jailing Jones, Judge Anil Murray told him: “Your actions were carefully planned and designed to groom a child to take part in sexual activity with you for your sexual gratification.” The court also heard that some years later, in 2018, by which time Jones was a fully qualified teacher, he created a fake Instagram profile posing as an 11-year-old girl to contact a boy one year older.

He sent him messages that included “you’re fit” and asked him to send naked photographs of himself. Fortunately, the boy was skeptical and told his mum about the messages who then contacted the police.

Officers managed to track the IP address of the account to a home of a couple where Jones had been house sitting at the time of the offense. He originally denied being to blame when interviewed and then wrote to the couple saying he had developed an addiction to pornography. He said that this had led to an increased interest in boys aged 12 and 13, however, when he was re-interviewed he made no comment.

Judge Anil Murray told Jones, of Loxley Road, Southport, that every parent of every boy has taught “will be wondering whether you have committed any other offenses. He said: “You are an intelligent man and you used your intellect to commit these offenses.”

He said that he was satisfied that he had “selected the boy for grooming due to your sexual attraction to him from the beginning”. And he told him that the victim “says that his whole childhood of him was taken away from him by you”.

He said he accepted that Jones has lost his career but pointed out, “It is all your own fault.” Judge Murray said that Jones posed a high risk of re-offending. He added: “I am satisfied you present a serious risk to boys.”

He jailed him for three and a half years and ordered him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life. I have imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and a restraining order for 15 years.

Jones admitted the Instagram offense involving inciting a child under 13 to commit a sexual act involving sending him photographs. He denied two offenses of sexually assaulting the schoolboy footballer – one happening on at least five occasions – and an offense of causing him to engage in sexual activity but he was convicted by a jury after a trial.

Gareth Roberts, prosecuting, told how the two sexual assault offenses on the schoolboy involved him putting his leg on his leg and rubbing his crotch. The third offense involved him asking the boy to touch his penis which the boy refused to do.

Mr Roberts told the jury that eventually the victim had enough of the texts and the touching and attention and left the football club. The prosecutor explained: “He didn’t want to tell anyone what had happened to him, he was embarrassed about it.”

But some time later he found that Jones had been in contact with his parents wanting to talk to them about rumors about him and so he told them about what Jones had done to him. Mr Roberts said: “He cried as he told them”, then his parents ran the police.

In an impact statement read to the court today, the victim told how he was having counseling and the offenses have “impacted my day to day life”. He said that while at school he tried to commit suicide and became very angry but has since managed to control his anger from him.

He now has trust issues and only speaks to his family and girlfriend. The victim also said he has mental health issues and was afraid of bumping into the defendant. Hugh Barton, defending, said that Jones “has lost everything.”

He said: “It wasn’t just a job, it was something he was passionate about and he was passionate about his coaching. He maintains it was not some sinister job to gain access to children.”

He pointed out that there were no other complainants and said that Jones was now a logistics manager for a salad production company after twice being promoted. Mr Barton added that the defendant “is a man who struggles with his identity”.

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