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Ex-football coach Bob Higgins jailed for 24 years for abusing boys

He was convicted of 45 offences of indecent assault on 23 May 2019.

Bob Higgins
Bob Higgins
Image: Andrew Matthews via PA Images

A FORMER YOUTH football coach at Premier League side Southampton, Bob Higgins, has been sentenced to 24 years and three months imprisonment today for the abuse of boys. 

Higgins (66) abused youths while he was coaching at Southampton Football Club and Peterborough United between 1971 and 1996.

The jury at Bournemouth Crown Court heard how Higgins used his notoriety and the power that came with his coaching role to gain their trust as well as exploiting the trust of their parents. 

When some of the boys challenged Higgins he told them that if they spoke up, no one would believe them and their future would be in jeopardy.

The CPS was able to present evidence of how some of the victims, now adults, have been affected by Bob Higgins’ criminal behaviour.

One victim, Billy Seymour, tragically died before this prosecution but his evidence was still used in this trial.

More than 20 victims gave evidence at the trial. 

“This could not be a coincidence and as most of the victims did not know each other or had not spoken for years since their footballing days, there could be no suggestion of collusion,” Claire Booth of the Crown Prosecution (CPS) said. 

“Bob Higgins preyed on and abused young boys – some of who adored him – and in doing so tainted and shattered the dreams of many,” Booth said. 

Being scouted by such a talented renowned coach was not something you would have turned down. Sadly it meant some had to grow up with this terrible secret, which for some was all-consuming.

Bob Higgins was convicted of 45 offences of indecent assault on 23 May 2019 at Winchester Crown Court.

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