[A] MAN has told jurors that men who allege that he indecently assaulted them as young players while he was their football coach are “telling lies”.
Anthony John Pickering, 56, is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court having denied a total of 10 charges. These allege Pickering indecently assaulted seven different boys, all aged under 14 at the time, more than three decades ago, while he was a Lake District junior football team coach.
Pickering gave evidence to a jury today (MON), and, in response to a string of allegations made by the men in court, repeatedly stated: “Never happened.”
His lawyer, Mohammed Rafiq, asked: “Are you saying that nothing untoward happened as regards to all the boys who have made allegations?”
“That’s correct,” said Pickering, formerly of Claife Avenue, Windermere.
Mr Rafiq asked him: “Do you have any idea why they are saying these things?”
Pickering – who insisted that he “fully” co-operated with police as they investigated allegations – replied: “None whatsoever.”
During cross-examination, he told the jury: “They were telling lies about me.”
Jurors heard that in 1995, before an Army general court martial in Germany, Pickering was convicted of seven offences of indecent assault and dishonourably discharged.
Pickering was said to have given a lift home to one 10-year-old boy following football training and parked up in a secluded area before sexually abusing him. These acts were said to have occurred in a number of occasions during a 12-month period, with Pickering also said to have committed “similar offences” against a “similarly aged boy”.
The trial continues.