Former amateur football coach jailed for sexual abuse of 10-year-old boy before fleeing UK to Sweden

Watch: Child sex offender Glenn Langrish is arrested at Heathrow Airport after being brought back from Poland by the Metropolitan Police’s extradition team

A former amateur football coach from Sussex has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for historic child sexual assaults.

Glenn Langrish, 74, also known as Glenn Stevens, carried out the attacks on a 10-year-old boy over a period of three years before fleeing to Sweden.

Langrish worked at a lawnmower repair shop in Crawley called ReeEven Hire during the 1980s, when he began communicating with the 10-year-old boy called Stephen Lewsey over a shortwave radio.

Eventually, the pair arranged to meet, and Stephen began working regular weekends at the hire shop with Langrish.

Over the next several years, Langrish sexually assaulted Stephen every time he worked at the shop and when he was giving him a lift home.

The abuse stopped in 1989 when Langrish was jailed for unrelated child sex offences. On his release in 1994, he moved to Sweden and changed his name to Glenn Stephens.

Stephen, who is now 51 and has waived his right to anonymity, reported the abuse to Sussex Police in 2011.

An international investigation began, which would span 13 years. Credit: ITV News Meridian

In 2016, Interpol discovered Langrish was living in Vendelso, Sweden, with Swedish citizenship.

He was interviewed by Swedish police, but as a Swedish citizen was protected from extradition back to the United Kingdom.

However, an international warrant was issued for his arrest should he leave Sweden.

Then in May 2023, Sussex Police were alerted by the National Crime Agency that Langrish was in Poland.

He was brought back from Poland by the Metropolitan Police’s extradition team in July 2023, where he was taken into custody at Heathrow Airport.

Hove Crown Court Credit: ITV News Meridian

Hove Crown Court heard Langrish had a series of similar previous convictions against children.

The court heard how he was a former amateur football coach, but it was not revealed the location or name of the club.

Langrish was charged and found guilty of four counts of indecency with a child and four counts of indecent assault on a child.

The 74-year-old must serve a minimum of nine years and eight months of his custodial sentence before he is eligible for parole.

In a statement read out in court, Stephen Lewsey said: “Until I confided in my wife, I treated this as my ‘dirty little secret’ something that I lived with for the last 40 years, but you have now been found guilty of the crimes that you know you committed. 

“I would never have asked my ex-wife and my dear old mum (who just lost her husband just before Christmas) to endure the trial If I did not know what you had done to me all those years ago was so wrong, that you needed to face justice.

“It has taken a long time to face you in court but now we have had our day and the jury has seen through your lies, I can now start to rebuild my life.

"Since I initially reported your behaviour to the police, I have experienced many, many emotions including some really dark thoughts, but throughout the entire time I have had the support of my amazing wife who has had to endure her husband go through this emotional, most imaginable turmoil.

“My family has suffered and have blamed themselves for your actions but there is only one person who should accept their responsibility and that is you – Glenn Langrish / Stephens or whatever you have changed your name to now to avoid any further people coming forward."

Det Sgt Becki Buckley said: “Glenn Langrish thought he could hide in Sweden and not have to face justice for his appalling crimes.

"He hugely underestimated the determination of Sussex Police, our partner forces and national agencies and, just as importantly, the resolve of his brave victim.

“This investigation should send a clear message to victims of sexual offences that we will stop at nothing to get you the justice you deserve.

“If you are a victim of sexual offences, no matter how long ago, please report it to us. You will be heard, you will be believed and we will do everything we can to help you. Report online, via 101 or dial 999 in an emergency.”

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