Manchester squash coach jailed for child sex offences

28/04/2017

A Manchester squash coach has been sentenced at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, to 14 years in prison for sex offences against children.

Hirusha Henricus pleaded guilty to a total of 16 offences against ten boys, including rape, attempted rape, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and inciting a child to watch a sexual act.

Henricus befriended the victims, who were all under the age of 16, through social media with the intention of grooming them for his own sexual gratification. Some of the victims were boys that he knew through his work as a squash coach and others were boys who he met online and not connected to his coaching activities. He initiated online conversations with the victims, which were initially friendly and joking, but quickly became more frequent and increasingly sexual in nature.

He incited some of the victims to post pictures or videos online and to perform sexual acts on webcam. In some instances he also used female aliases to hide his identity and manipulate the victims into sending more revealing images to him. With one of the victims the online sexual abuse also led to serious sexual assaults on occasions when they met.

Rebecca Macaulay-Addison from the CPS said: "Hirusha Henricus exploited the position of trust he had as a sporting coach and targeted young boys he knew through this work or those he met through social media contact. He preyed on their youth and vulnerability and led them to believe he was their friend before manipulating and bullying them into sending him sexual images and engaging in sexual activity online. In the case of one victim his incessant online grooming escalated into repeated physical sexual abuse.

"He subjected his young victims to persistent and serious online sexual abuse and they have shown real courage in being prepared to give evidence against him. Because of their courage he is now beginning a prison sentence where he can no longer pose a danger to children."

 

Additional information:

Rebecca Macaulay-Addison is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the CPS North West Complex Casework Unit.

Hirusha Henricus, was working at the National Squash Centre at Manchester Sports and Leisure Etihad Campus and was the Chairman of the City of Manchester Squash Club at the time of the offending. Henricus was employed as a casual coach at the squash centre and also conducted private coaching sessions.

The charges he pleaded guilty to relate to offences against ten victims under the age of 16 in 2013 and 2014:

Three counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, six counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one count of inciting a child to watch a sexual act and one count of possession of an indecent photograph of a child.