Athletics coach convicted of sex attacks


Athletics coach Stephen Benson has been found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court of rape and sexual assaults.

Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS East of England, Andrea Reynolds said:

"This was a gross betrayal of trust by a man who used his position as a sports coach with Ipswich Harriers Athletics Club to groom three young girls so he could rape two of them and sexually assault all three.

"Parents who trusted their daughters to him were manipulated by Benson into thinking he had the girls' best interests at heart. They believed he would make the girls successful athletes - when in fact he had other motives in mind.

"I would like to thank the victims and witnesses in this case who assisted the police and particular thanks are due to DC Wendy Leah who worked tirelessly on the investigation. Without the victims' support for the case, Benson would not have been brought to justice. I hope the victims are now able to move on positively with their lives knowing that justice has been done.

"I would urge anyone who has been the victim of rape or sexual assault in any circumstances to report the crime to police. The Crown Prosecution Service takes all allegations seriously and has a team of trained specialist rape prosecutors who have expertise in dealing with sexual offence cases. We work with the police and the courts to ensure that victims are given the best possible support throughout the case."