Rugby coach David Simmons jailed for molesting players

David Simmons Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Simmons insisted boys weigh themselves naked while he secretly filmed them, the court heard

A rugby coach has been jailed for molesting young boys and secretly filming them in changing rooms.

David Simmons, 26, planted covert cameras in clocks and a shower gel bottle to film teenage rugby players undress. Nearly 500 videos were found at his Ashford home.

Simmons pleaded guilty to 17 sexual offences, including sexually assaulting boys under the age of 13.

He was jailed for three years and eight months at Southwark Crown Court.

Prosecutors told the court how Simmons abused his role as a coach, running sessions and holiday clubs at more than 30 venues in south west London, to hide cameras in showers and toilets.

The court also heard Simmons, who is originally from Sheffield, insisted boys weigh themselves naked while secretly recording them using his iPhone or iPad.

The hidden cameras were eventually discovered by a colleague who called the police.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Simmons hid one camera in a shower gel bottle to spy on teenage rugby players

When police searched his Ashford home and offices in Teddington, they found a shower gel bottle which had been cut in half and contained a video recording device and several digital spy cameras concealed in digital clocks which had been position in various places, including above a toilet.

Simmons also admitted posing as a teenage girl on Skype to encourage a boy to take part in online sexual activity.

Det Ch Insp Zena Marshall, from the Met's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: "Simmons abused the trust that was placed in him by both the victims and their parents - this was a terrible betrayal.

"We have been working closely with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Rugby Football Union, Kingston local authority and the clubs concerned to ensure that support is available to those who have been affected by this case.

"I hope the families can have some satisfaction that Simmons has been brought to account and is now facing the serious consequences of his actions."

An NSPCC spokesman said: "Simmons's behaviour was despicable and devious. Anyone who wishes to obtain advice and support about this case should contact the NSPCC's dedicated helpline on 0800 731 9256."

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