Former football coach jailed for historic child sex offences
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A man who pleaded guilty to historic sex abuse against two young boys while he was a football coach has been jailed for three years at Guildford Crown Court today (27 May).
Ivan Higgs, 73, of Addlestone, was sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of indecency towards a child at an earlier hearing.
An investigation was launched after one of the victims came forward in June 2017 to report that he had been sexually abused in the mid-1970s by Higgs, who was his football coach at the time. The victim decided to come forward after completing a safeguarding training course to work with young people.
The abuse took place when he was aged 10-12 years over a number of different occasions.
In November 2018, a second victim came forward to report that he had been sexually abused by Higgs, who was his football coach at the time.
The victim made the allegation after being detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act after trying to jump off a bridge.
He told officers that on one occasion, Higgs had invited him round to his house to play cards and had sexually abused him as part of a forfeit when he lost the game.
The victim said he had not come forward previously because he did not think anyone would believe him.
Detective Constable Gaynor Falconi, from the Safeguarding Investigation Unit, said: “The victims do not know each other, and it was a complete coincidence that they came forward within a year of each other.
“Higgs is a dangerous sexual predator who abused his position as a football coach for his own gratification and I hope the fact that he is behind bars will give the victims involved some form of closure and allow them to start re-building their lives.
“Given that the offending in this case took place between the mid-1970s and the late 1990s, there may well be other victims out there who have not come forward. I would like to reassure anyone who has been the victim of any kind of abuse to come forward as soon as possible. You will be taken seriously and you will be given the appropriate support while we carry out our investigation.”
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