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Lake District junior football coach “sexually abused” young players, jury told

Carlisle Crown Court

[A] MAN accused of indecently assaulting young players while he was a Lake District football coach has gone on trial.

Anthony John Pickering, 56, denies a total of 10 charges. These allege that he indecently assaulted seven different boys, all aged under 14, on separate occasions more than 30 years ago.

Pickering’s trial at Carlisle Crown Court began today (WED), when a jury heard an eighth boy – not named in any charges – had also alleged he was sexually abused by him.

Prosecutor Richard Haworth outlined each of the alleged offences which, he said, reflected a “similar type of conduct”. “A certain modus operandi,” alleged Mr Haworth, “becoming very apparent with the way in which the defendant approached and made his moves on these young players in the football team.”

The prosecutor alleged that Pickering had “threatened” one boy – to ensure “secrecy and silence” – by saying he would report him for stealing from a shop if he ever told anyone.

Pickering, formerly of Claife Avenue, Windermere, was interviewed by police about the allegations. “He categorically denied them,” said Mr Haworth. “He said nothing had happened; that in effect these complainants were all inventing, fabricating, making up stories, allegations about him.”

The trial continues.

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