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Football coach denies sexual abuse

A football coach accused of sex offences against children lured one of his victims by taking him to watch top-flight football matches, Norwich Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

James Bradford is charged with eleven counts of indecent assault on a boy aged between 12 and 17, and a further count of indecently assaulting a boy aged 16, all of which he denies.

At the start of his trial, the prosecution told the court that the 29-year-old gave his victims alcohol and cannabis to break down resistance and build up trust and also took one 13-year-old boy to watch Norwich City, Manchester United and Liverpool play.

Christopher Morgan, prosecuting, said: “The defendant worked with children on a part time basis. Some of his principle work with children was teaching them to play football. The Crown says he manipulated that situation and preyed on one of the defendants. He abused his position of trust. He paid for him to attend matches at Norwich City Football Club and took him away on a number of trips.”

The jury heard Bradford, of Bridgewater, Somerset, built up a relationship with the parents of his first victim so they were happy to let their son stay at his home or join him on trips, including one to Blackpool.

The court was told he was sexually abused by the defendant on around 100 occasions when he was aged 13-17 years-old and that Bradford often carried out the assaults when he thought the boy was asleep.

The victim said Bradford had befriended him through football, and he was excited when tickets arrived in the post for a Norwich City game against Manchester United.  He said he didn't feel he could tell anyone about what was happening as no-one would believe him.

The prosecution claimed that when Bradford stopped seeing the first boy, he befriended a second boy who was 16 – on one occasion taking him to a Norwich pub before taking him home and abusing him as he slept.

The case continues.

Source: EDP24 News


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