Cumbria Crack

Jury told coach threatened to report boy for stealing if he told of “sex abuse”

Carlisle Crown Court

[A] LAKE District football coach told a boy he would report him for stealing from a shop if he revealed alleged sexual abuse, a jury has heard.

A string of allegations dating back more than 30 years have been made against Anthony John Pickering, who denies any wrongdoing.

Pickering, 56, is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court having pleaded not guilty to 10 charges.

These allege that he indecently assaulted seven different boys, all aged under 14, at a time when he coached junior players.

Jurors have watched footage of interviews given to police by men who allege they were sexual abused.

One said when he was aged “about 11” when he was “kept back” in a changing room by Pickering, and then allegedly grabbed from behind.

“He put his hands down my shorts,” said the man. “He just started touching me.”

It was then, he claimed, that Pickering – formerly of Claife Avenue, Windermere – made the comment to him: “If you tell anybody about this, I will tell everybody…you have been stealing from (a shop).”

The man told police: “I was frozen. I couldn’t move.”

The trial continues.

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