Former Newcastle United kit man denies string of sex attacks against young males

Defendant George Ormond.
Defendant George Ormond.

A "trusted" football coach who once volunteered at Newcastle United has gone on trial accused of a series of sexual offences.

George Ormond faces a total of 38 charges on 19 alleged young male victims between 1973 and 1998, which he claims are all "untrue".

Newcastle Crown Court has heard the once "popular" 62-year-old was involved in youth teams in the North-East and left his role at Newcastle United, as a volunteer kit man, bus driver and general helper, in the mid 1990s after an allegation was made about his conduct.

Prosecutor Sharon Beattie told jurors: "At the time, no formal complaint was made by (the male) but Newcastle, under the guise of George Ormond's lack of formal qualifications, dispensed with his services."

Miss 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.

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, denies 36 charges of indecent assault, one of indecency with a child and one additional sexual offence.

Miss Beattie told jurors: "Mr Ormond's case is, in essence, that these complainants from whom you will hear are influenced or motivated by the previous case in some way. That may be an issue you will have to decide."

The case continues.