October 2018

Football coach escapes immediate jail term for sexual offences committed against girl in 1960s

A football coach was spared an immediate jail sentence after he admitted committing sexual offences against a young girl dating from the 1960s.

Wayne Thomas, 64, pleaded guilty to two counts of having unlawful sexual intercourse and two charges of indecent assault.

Prosecutor Ieuan Bennett told Cardiff Crown Court the victim had been under the age of 13 and the offences committed when the defendant was a teenager.

He told Judge Jeremy Jenkins that the abuse had left the complainant “petrified”.

Mr Bennett added that Thomas, who joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 15, had no previous convictions.

He said that the defendant had been a football coach who had been “in contact with young people” but did not name a club or clubs he was associated with.

Thomas, of Penywerlod Road, Markham, near Blackwood, was represented by his barrister Kevin Seal.

Before any mitigation could be presented to the court, Judge Jenkins said he would not be passing an immediate prison term.

Referring to the Probation Service’s pre-sentence report, he said: “There is no suggestion from the report that he is a danger to children.”

The judge told him: “These offences were committed when you were a child yourself and it goes back to July 1968, some 50 years ago.”

He added: “The pre-sentence report says you are at a low risk of re-conviction.

“You have led a blameless and industrious life since the commission of these offences.”

Judge Jenkins jailed Thomas for a total of 18 months, suspended for two years.

The defendant was also made subject of a two-year community order, a rehabilitation and activity requirement of 25 days and to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.