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Former Croydon Council worker and football coach jailed for nine years

|News, Sexual offences

A former Croydon Council youth worker and football coach has been jailed for sexually abusing four schoolboys.

David Hughes, 66, targeted three of the children when he worked in youth clubs in New Addington and while working in a voluntary capacity as a football coach between 1988 and 1995. Further offences took place on a teenager between 2017 and 2018.

The investigation into Hughes’ abuse unravelled after the mother of one victim came forward to speak to police in September 2018, telling officers: “I want to report a paedophile.”

Today (Thursday, 25 November 2021) Hughes was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court to 10 years comprising of nine years in jail and one year on extended licence. He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and put on the sex offenders register for life. Hughes had previously been found guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault on three boys aged eight to 13, two counts of sexual activity with a boy aged 13 to 15 and two counts of causing the same boy to engage in sexual activity.

Hughes’ youngest victim was just eight years old when the abuse began. Hughes groomed another child by treating him to a trip to the cinema. Another eleven-year-old was plied with cider before being sexually assaulted.

The court also heard that Hughes would encourage the young football players to wear shorts rather than tracksuit bottoms and for them to wear briefs under their shorts rather than boxers. He would also rub cream such as deep heat into the boys’ legs before matches or training.

In December 2018 Hughes was arrested and in his possession he had a black holdall with children’s underwear.

Stephanie Dodd, from the CPS, said: “David Hughes sought out young boys who loved football.

“He took up jobs where he could get close to these children and used their love and appreciation of a sport to groom and abuse them. He showered them with sporting gifts such as boots and tops. All the while, he was in a position of trust betraying the very principles of his role.

“Many of these young schoolboys described feeling powerless to stop the abuse at the time. They have since come forward and provided strong witness testimony against their abuser allowing the jury to convict him.

“Meanwhile Hughes has shown little remorse. When the allegations were first put to him, he said ‘I don’t recognise either name which is hardly surprising given that I have coached thousands of children over years.’

“The CPS is absolutely committed to bringing sexual predators to justice regardless of the passage of time since the offending.

“I hope this prosecution goes some way to comfort the victims of this man.”

Notes to editors

  • David Hughes (DOB: 26/7/1955) is from New Addington in the London borough of Croydon
  • Stephanie Dodd is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit in CPS London South. 

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