November 2016

Former Lincoln football coach jailed for rape and sexual assault of boys


A former youth football coach and referee has today been jailed for eleven and a half years for a string of offences against teenage boys including rape and sexual assault.

Johnathan Bedford, a married man who met his victims through his involvement with local youth football, also persuaded young boys to send him indecent photographs of themselves. He has since been suspended from all involvement with football.

Recorder Graham Huston, passing sentence at Lincoln Crown Court, also imposed an indefinite sexual offences prevention order which is designed to restrict Bedford’s activities when he is released from jail.

Bedford was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Recorder Huston told Bedford: “I see no indication of remorse. No apology. No regret.

“You are a thoroughly selfish man who has never once sought to consider the damage you were causing.

“Everything you did, you did to get the opportunity of a sexual encounter.

“The football league and the other referees and coaches who give up so much of their time to support youth football have been let down by you.

Martin Hurst, prosecuting, told the jury: “Mr Bedford was working as a driver doing daily deliveries and he would spend his leisure time as a football referee and a football coach.

“The boys described him as generous, engaging and with a bubbly personality. He helped these boys, some of whom were vulnerable and some of whom had difficulties at school.

“It is perfectly clear that Mr Bedford had a sexual interest in the boys. He was feeling his way to see how far he would go and see what the reaction would be.”

Mr Hurst said that the Bedford had wrecked the life of the 18-year-old boy he raped.

The boy went into town and got so drunk he could hardly stand up. Bedford went on to rape him while the lad was so intoxicated he was unable to fight him off.

Two other boys were sexually touched by Bedford and he persuaded others to take selfies in their boxer shorts and send them to him via Snapchat.

Bedford, 34, of Monks Road, Lincoln, denied one charge of rape, two charges of sexual activity with a child and a further charge of sexual assault but was found guilty of all counts.

The offences related to the period between September 23 2008 and December 31 2010.

He had earlier admitted six charges of inciting the sexual exploitation of a child and a further charge of attempted sexual exploitation of a child between January 2013 and March 2014.

The offences involved a total of 10 teenage boys.

During his trial on the rape and sexual activity charges Bedford denied anything happened between him and the boys who gave evidence against him.