Hampshire Football coach jailed for 16 years after sexually abusing boys
A football coach from Hampshire has been found guilty of eight offences, including attempted rape.Alfie Morel, 24, sexually abusedboys after he groomed them through online gaming and messages via social media.Concerns were raised after a school of one of the victims, noticed that Morel was travelling alone with boys in his car and not following safeguarding rules.
The BBC reported that one mother said it was 'your worst nightmare as a parent'.
"He was highly thought of. Everyone liked him, everyone trusted him, we thought he was great with the kids. We were totally groomed by him," said another parent.
Morel's crimes occurred from 2020 to 2021 over the course of eight months. His acts were exposed when one of the victims told their mother that they had been sent sexual messages by Morel. The boy was 12-years-old at the time.
The victim also said that Morel had 'committed a sex act in front of him, sexually assaulted him and bribed him to perform sex acts on him in exchange for money or Fifa football video games points'.
Reading out a victim impact statement, a parent told the court her son has been 'tormented' since the abuse. She said: "Guilt, anger and sadness has taken over my life. I am totally broken. I have lost faith in systems and the ways children are protected."
Judge Richard Shepherd said the boys were 'football mad' and Morel used that to his advantage by 'ingratiating' himself to them.
The judge said: "You lied, manipulated, coerced, bribed and cajoled for your own sexual pleasure. All the victims looked up to you, you were in a position of trust."
A spokesperson from Hampshire County Council said: "We do not provide information about referrals as this must necessarily remain confidential. Schools are responsible for undertaking safeguarding checks for staff they employ, as are any third-party organisations providing services to schools.
"However, it is important to understand that individuals who breach their position of trust do so deceptively and will do whatever they can to conceal their actions."