Glasgow & West Scotland

Boys' football coach on trial over abuse

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption The High Court in Glasgow heard that the coach knew members of the boy's family

A boys' football coach has gone on trial charged with the abuse of a young player.

Mark Ellis, 57, denies carrying out sex attacks on the child in 1991 when he was aged around 10.

A jury heard claims that Mr Ellis, who ran a football team and training school in South Lanarkshire, threatened to kill both the boy and himself if the abuse was disclosed.

His accuser said he now "wanted justice" for the "wee boy" he once was.

Mr Ellis, who now lives in Birmingham, is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow where he denies a charge of behaving in a lewd and libidinous manner.

The jury heard how the alleged victim "just loved football".

'Very angry'

He went on to be coached by Mr Ellis, who knew members of the boy's family.

Some of the abuse is said to have happened at their home when he visited, including the first alleged attack on Easter Sunday in 1991.

The alleged victim said he remembered initially being "scared" that day as the coach had turned up appearing "very angry".

He said he was then abused at Mr Ellis' flat in Biggar, South Lanarkshire.

Prosecutor Shanti Maguire asked: "By the time it got to this stage, did you ever want to tell anyone?"

He replied: "No - this was because Mark threatened that he would have to kill the two of us if I told anyone."

The jury heard the boy was also allegedly preyed on at a local sports club.

Another incident is said to have happened after Mr Ellis drove in his Land Rover to outside a darkened ambulance depot.

This was said to have happened after their team had suffered a heavy defeat.

'Had enough'

The witness told the trial: "I can remember Mark took me home that night.

"I remember him saying we had got beat, but that I had played well."

He went on to recall the last time he spoke with Mr Ellis around that time, stating he had had "enough".

The alleged victim told the court: "I remember saying 'kill me if you want'.

"I remember looking at Mark and he seemed broken. I really could not stand the sight of him by then."

He then recalled being "delighted" when he found out Mr Ellis had later moved out of the area.

The witness said he did not reveal what allegedly happened until years later when he initially spoke to a friend.

He was described as being "completely broken and distraught".

In around 2005 - joined by a number of relatives - he was said to have then turned up at Mr Ellis's now home in the Midlands to confront him.

'I am sorry'

The court heard that his mother challenged Mr Ellis stating: "You think you have ruined my son, but you have not."

The accuser told the jury: "Mark said: 'I am sorry'. He kept saying sorry, sorry.

"He also said: 'I knew that this day was coming'."

Miss Maguire asked him if he had any reason to lie about Mr Ellis.

He replied: "No, none at all. I don't know if I even hate him. I just want justice for that wee boy."

The prosecutor went on: "That wee boy being yourself?" The witness said: "Yes."

Louise Arrol, defending, later put to the witness that the jury may hear that he was never abused by Mr Ellis.

Miss Arrol said: "Do you reject that?" to which the witness replied: "I totally reject that."

The trial, before Judge Johanna Johnston QC, continues.

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