Glasgow & West Scotland

Former football coach jailed for sex abuse of three boys

A man who sexually abused three young boys who played for a football team he was coaching in Glasgow almost 30 years ago has been jailed for 27 months.

Robert Smith, 67, attacked the boys, who were aged between nine and 12, while managing the team in the Easterhouse area between 1978 and 1987.

He was caught after one victim contacted police, who traced others.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Smith, from Maryhill, was ordered he be supervised for 11 months following his release.

'Serious offences'

He was also placed on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

Jailing him, Sheriff John McCormick told Smith: "You involved yourself in a football team and used that opportunity to perpetrate a series of serious sexual offences against young boys over a number of years."

Smith was convicted of three charges of using lewd and libidinous practices towards the schoolboys on various occasions over the nine year period until 1987.

The court heard that one victim, who is now an adult, had told a friend about the abuse before losing touch with her.

In 2012 when they met again, she urged him to report his ordeal to police.

Their investigation uncovered two other victims.

The men, now aged between 43 and 47, each gave evidence at Smith's trial.

They recalled being abused in the school where the football team gathered, given special treatment and taken aside from the others.

Smith denied the charges and claimed the victims had colluded and given false evidence.

It later emerged that he had a previous lewd and libidinous practices conviction from 1968 - 10 years before becoming involved with the football team.

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