David Hughes, 66, of New Addington, was sentenced on Thursday, November 25, to nine years in prison for a string of historic child sex offences.
Detective Constable Pete Brewster, from the Met Police, said he “betrayed the trust” of “vulnerable children” and their families, who were left “feeling ashamed”.
Hughes was arrested on December 21, 2018, and had with him a black holdall with children’s underwear inside.
More items of new underwear were found during a search of his address,
His first ten offences took place between 1988 and 1995, when Hughes was employed as a youth worker at youth clubs in New Addington and worked as a voluntary football coach.
Further offences were committed in 2017 and 2018 independently of his employment.
On three occasions he bought the boys football tops or boots before indecently assaulting them.
He groomed one boy by treating him to a trip to the cinema to see Jurassic Park in 1993, and indecently assaulted another boy while on an organised camping trip.
He was charged on February 28, 2020, and convicted at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday, October 14, of 14 non-recent sexual offences against four boys aged between eight and 15.
Hughes was found guilty of:
- Ten counts of indecent assault on three boys aged 8 to 13,
- Two counts of sexual activity with a boy aged 13 to 15,
- And two counts of causing the same boy aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.
He was also given a one-year extended sentence during which he will be on probation, and was handed a lifetime sexual harm prevention order.
Det Cons Brewster said: “In committing these offences Hughes demonstrated premeditated, predatory behaviour spanning almost 30 years.
“He worked as a youth worker and children’s football coach throughout the 1980s and 1990s, seeking employment and opportunities that granted him access to children.
“He should have been someone the children, and their families, could trust.
“He betrayed this trust, abusing vulnerable children who described feeling unable, ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone what he had done to them.
“Those who suffered at the hands of Hughes in the 1990s describe how his offending continues to affect them today and say their reports were an important step in moving on.
“It is only through the bravery of all of the victims in this case to report the abuse they suffered and support the investigation that Hughes has been convicted of these offences.
“If you have been the victim of abuse, no matter how long ago, please report it to the police so we can help you.“