Last year, Bob Higgins, a former youth football coach was found guilty of one count of indecent assault against a trainee and found not guilty of another similar offence. The jury was unable to reach verdicts on 48 other counts of indecent assault and the matter was sent for a retrial.
Higgins has now been found guilty of 45 counts of indecent assault, mostly involving trainees at Southampton and Peterborough United between 1971 and 1996. He was cleared of five counts of similar offences and the jury failed to reach a decision on a further count.
He has yet to be sentenced.
There have been a number of developments this month in respect of alleged abuse within sport. Continue reading
In the week that saw Dr Larry Nassar, the Michigan State University and Olympic sports doctor sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing female gymnasts in the USA, it is timely to reflect on Volume 14 of the report of the Royal Commission (RC) which focuses on sports and recreational institutions.
The RC identified that there is a real challenge in ensuring child safety in sports and recreational institutions and this is due to the diverse nature of the sector – ranging from affiliated, grant maintained and well-funded, co-ordinated, well-regulated and managed institutions with compliance obligations to small informal not for profit voluntary and community groups and activities where there is a patent lack of policy, procedure, regulation and information.