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“Indiscriminate” Lakes paedophile convicted of sexually abusing four more children

Anthony Pickering, pictured in 1982

AN “indiscriminate” paedophile previously jailed for abusing young boys while coaching a Lake District football team has been found guilty of more historical crimes committed against four other children.

Anthony Pickering, 58, was jailed for five years in 2018 at Carlisle Crown Court after being convicted of molesting seven young players during the 1970s and early 1980s.

That sentence was hiked up to nine years at the Court of Appeal after a referral by the Solicitor General, who spoke of Pickering carrying out “horrific sexual assaults” which had “robbed multiple victims of their childhood”.

Pickering was already serving a 10-year prison term he received in 2012 for sexually assaulting a young girl in West Yorkshire.

It also emerged he was convicted of indecently assaulting two boys by a general court martial in Germany during the 1990s while serving with the Army.

Publicity generated by his 2018 trial promoted four more victims – two males and two females, all now adults – to tell police of abuse they also suffered at his hands.

One man revealed Pickering had abused him on multiple occasions, the first time when he was aged just six or seven. Once was in a remote rural Lakeland location they visited under his pretence of Pickering teaching the youngster survival skills, and another time after a junior football club training session in Windermere.

Another man and two women also spoke of sexual abuse they suffered.

Opening Pickering’s trial at Carlisle Crown Court, prosecutor Michael Maher had told a jury: “We say he was indiscriminate so far as his sexual gratification was concerned. Boys or girls. It didn’t matter to him.”

Bespectacled Pickering, who denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to a total of 16 sexual abuse offences, bowed his head in the court dock as unanimous guilty verdicts were announced by the jury foreman this afternoon (TUES).

Judge Andrew Jefferies QC adjourned the case, saying he needed time to consider what would be a “complicated” sentencing exercise given sentences the defendant had received in the past and was still serving.

Judge Jefferies also said he was “duty bound” to ask the probation service to provide an assessment of the level of risk Pickering, previously of Claife Avenue, Windermere, poses to the public. That could see additional restrictions placed on when he is released from custody.

“Anybody who behaves in this way towards children over a number of years sets the alarm bells ringing about dangerousness,” concluded Judge Jefferies.

Pickering was remanded in custody, and is due to be sentenced in September.

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