[A] MAN has been convicted of sexually abusing seven boys while he was their football coach in the Lake District.
Anthony Pickering, 56, heard this afternoon (TUES) he faces a jail term of “years not months” for offending described by a judge at Carlisle Crown Court as “wicked”.
Pickering went on trial after denying 10 indecent assault charges. But after deliberating for less than an hour, a jury of seven men and five women unanimously found him guilty of all offences, which took place more than 30 years ago.
Jurors heard evidence during the trial from all seven victims, who reported the coach’s crimes to police as adults. Most were molested either before or after training sessions, one recalling how he was sexually abused by Pickering during a lift home.
One man said Pickering had even threatened to report him for stealing for a shop if he ever told anyone about the illegal touching.
Bespectacled Pickering, wearing a grey T-shirt and jeans, slumped forward in the dock and shook his head after the guilty verdicts were announced.
Jurors heard during the trial he had been convicted at an Army court martial in Germany, in 1995, of indecent assaults on two other young boys – one aged 10 on a number of occasions after football practices.
Judge James Adkin adjourned the case, telling Pickering, formerly of Claife Avenue, Windermere, he “should expect a custodial sentence” when he is punished on August 2.