1. ITV Report

Football coach who abused young players has prison sentence increased

Carlisle Crown Court Photo: ITV Border

A former football coach who sexually abused seven boys in the Lake District has had his prison sentence increased.

Anthony Pickering, 56, was originally found guilty at Carlisle Crown Court in August after the jury heard how he had used training sessions to molest the players.

Pickering, who was between 17 and 20 years old when the attacks happened, sexually abused the boys over a three year period during the late '70s and early '80s.

He was given five years in prison, which was increased to nine today.

This happened after the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, referred the case to the Court of Appeal because it was believed the sentence wasn't severe enough.

This comes on top of ten years he was already serving for similar charges, which he received in 2012.

To abuse a position of power and subject vulnerable children to such horrific sexual assaults is an abhorrent crime. Pickering robbed multiple victims of their childhood, and I am pleased the Court of Appeal has agreed that his sentence deserved to be higher.”

– Robert Buckland QC MP, Solicitor General