Cumbria

Former football coach denies sexually assaulting boys

A former Lake District football coach has denied sexually assaulting young boys more than 30 years ago.

Anthony Pickering, 56, denies 10 charges of indecent assault on seven different boys, all aged under 14.

Carlisle Crown Court heard Mr Pickering, formerly of Claife Avenue, Windermere, "categorically denied" all the charges against him.

The jury was told one alleged victim said Mr Pickering would report him for stealing if he spoke out.

'Secrecy and silence'

Prosecutor Richard Haworth outlined each of the alleged offences which, he said, reflected a "similar type of conduct".

He claimed it was "a certain modus operandi, becoming very apparent with the way in which the defendant approached and made his moves on young players."

He said Mr Pickering had threatened to report one boy for stealing from a shop if he ever told anyone about the alleged abuse to ensure his "secrecy and silence".

The jury heard that during police interviews, Mr Pickering said the complainants were "all inventing, fabricating and making up allegations" about him.

The trial continues.

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