'Trusted' football coach George Ormond jailed for 20 years for sex offences on young players

George Ormond
George Ormond

A "trusted" football coach who once volunteered at Newcastle United has been jailed for 20 years for a series of sickening sex offences on young players.

George Ormond, who acted as a kit man at the club in the 1990s, used his trusted position in the football community to "groom and manipulate" boys and young men.

The 62-year-old, who has previously been convicted and jailed for similar offences, claimed all allegations against him were "untrue", during a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

He was convicted of 35 offences of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child, in relation to 18 victims.

Ormond was cleared of one charge of buggery and one indecent assault charge.

Judge Edward Bindloss said Ormond must sign the sex offenders register for life and said: "Evidence called in this trial showed that, over a 25 year period, George Ormond was a man wholly preoccupied with sex, who used his position as a respected football coach to target boys and young men in his care, to whom he was in a position of trust, to groom and manipulate and sexually assault."

Judge Bindloss said it was clear some of the victims did not want to relive their terrible ordeals to a court full of strangers.

The judge added: "No-one listening to this trial could fail to have been moved by the complainants and other witnesses, over six weeks of evidence, largely men in their 50s, largely from working class and sporting backgrounds, speaking with quiet, calm dignity about how they failed to understand what was happening to them and how, because of the times they lived in and the circumstances of their lives, meant they were unable to speak about it."

Judge Bindloss said "victim after victim" spoke about the shame and embarrassment they live with, so many years later.

The judge told Ormond: "Some of your victims, you said you didn't even remember. What was for you momentary sexual gratification was, for your victims, a lifetime of difficulty."

The court heard a series of victim impact statements about the devastation Ormond's offending caused.

One victim said the offending left him a "broken man" and added: "Football was everything to me.

"This dream turned into a living nightmare."

Others described the lifelong effects the sexual ordeals have had on their lives which included feelings of guilt for not speaking up sooner, shame and embarrassment.

Jurors heard the once "popular" coach was involved in youth teams in the north east of England and left his role at Newcastle United, as a volunteer kit man, bus driver and general helper, in the mid 1990s after an allegation about his

conduct.

Footballer and manager John Carver told the court during the trial it was a conversation with colleague Paul Ferris, a former player and physiotherapist, who had been approached by an alleged victim about an allegation of abuse against Ormond, that Ormond should leave his volunteer role at Newcastle United.

Mr Carver told jurors: "When I found out I was extremely shocked.

"Paul Ferris had been told in the strictest of confidence and I wasn't quite sure, initially, how to react. Obviously I trusted George."

Mr Carver said no action was taken immediately but it was clear he had to get Ormond out of Newcastle United.

He told jurors: "I needed time to digest it, needed to try and find a way of getting George out of the football club, that's what we had to do.

"It was around about the time the FA were bringing in qualifications. I used that as an opportunity to ask George if he was going to take coaching qualifications further.

"His response was that he was not.

"He never made any fuss when I said, 'you are going to have to leave'.

"He left that night when we had the conversation and I didn't see him again."

The court has heard Ormond left his role at the club in the 1990s after the allegations came to light.

Prosecutor Sharon Beattie said in 2000 the same male who had made the complaint to the club made a formal complaint to the authorities, alongside "a few others".

The court heard Ormond stood trial for and was convicted of sexual offences in 2002 as a result.

He was jailed for six years for offences on seven boys.

Miss Beattie told jurors some of the complainants in the current case were aware of the previous allegations Ormond faced but did not come forward at the time.

She said the reasons for that included some chose to "bury what happened", some were "embarrassed" and some "even felt guilty about what had happened to them".

The court heard in 2016, following a media article about abuse in football, an NSPCC helpline was set up.

Miss Beattie told the court: "As a result, really, of that and the publicity, these complainants came forward, either through the helpline or directly to the police."

She added: "Some felt able to now tell what had happened, some had children of their own, which affected whether or not they felt it was right to come forward, some simply felt that they just should."

Miss Beattie said Ormond had been "trusted by those who he worked for and with" during the time of the allegations.

She told jurors: "Throughout that 20-year period, he worked with young boys and young men and to many, if not all of them, as well as being in a position of trust in relation to them, he appeared to be someone who was a figure of authority.

"This was something which, at times, he manipulated to his own advantage.

"During that 20-year period, George Ormond used the opportunities he had, by virtue of his involvement with those organisations to sexually assault the complainants in this case."

Miss Beattie said the latest allegations share "a number of similar features" to the previous case.

Miss Beattie said Ormond used his position of "perceived authority" to "groom and manipulate" young males so he could sexually abuse them.

Ormond, formerly of Devon, denied 36 charges of indecent assault, one of indecency with a child and one of buggery, in relation to 19 complainants, throughout the trial.

Rebecca Trowler, defending, said Ormond has stayed out of trouble since his release from his last sentence in 2006 and has since held down good, full time work.

Miss Trowler said: "He was living in Sunderland for many years but in 2014, because of comments on social media about the earlier trial, he had to leave his home.

"He lost his job.

"He moved to another part of the country, where he lived on savings."