Football coach gets four years for sex offences

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By CarlyBaldwin | Friday, November 18, 2011, 11:33

The Leek CSOB football coach who resigned his position after a sex scandal broke in September has now been jailed for four years.

51 year-old Robert McCleery groomed a schoolgirl before having a sexual relationship with her, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.

The court were told that he bought the girl presents before taking her to the Roches for sex when she was still under 16.

Today, The Sentinel has revealed that the Staffordshire FA was first alerted to concerns over McCleery's relationship with a child around three years ago.

Similar concerns were also raised with Leek CSOB, but no action was taken at the time and McCleery continued coaching girls and women at the club.

The court heard that McCleery and the girl first had sex in 2008, and continued to have sex on a regular basis. 

McCleery had flattered the girl by calling her 'sexy', 'gorgeous' and 'beautiful' and they exchanged text messages.

Adem Muzaffer, prosecuting, said: "The girl felt dirty, ashamed and angry."

"She would often say she wanted it to stop but he would tell her he would kill himself, or tell her parents about what had been going on."

McCleery, of Brookfield Road, Ipstones, was arrested in September after the girl confided in a friend and police were called in.

Delivery driver McCleery pleaded guilty to three charges of sexual activity with a child and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Catherine O'Reilly, mitigating, said McCleery, who is of previous good character, is remorseful.

His family has been left appalled by his behaviour.

McCleery will serve up to half the four year sentence with the rest on licence.

He will be on the sex offenders' register for life, has been disqualified from working with children indefinitely and barred from a range of activities involving children.

Judge Paul Glenn told him: "These are serious offences committed over a significant period of time."

"You groomed this girl. You knew full well what you were doing was wrong. You were manipulative."

"When she began to break it off you subjected her to emotional blackmail."

"She describes you getting in her head. You told her you could get into trouble and not to tell anyone."

"Regular sexual activity took place. I feel particularly sorry for your family. They are victims as well."




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