June 2017

Paedophile rugby coach jailed for three years

A rugby coach has been jailed after molesting young boys and filming hundreds of videos using spy cameras inside digital clocks and Lynx shower bottles hidden in changing rooms.

David Simmons, 26, was jailed for three years and eight months for 17 sexual offences at Southwark Crown Court after admitting the charges at an earlier hearing.

He exploited his position as a rugby coach, where he ran his own sessions and holiday clubs at more than 30 venues in south-west London, to hide the cameras inside digital clocks and shower gel bottles in showers and toilets.

Simmons also insisted boys should weigh themselves naked, claiming it was for body fat percentage tests, and secretly recorded them using his iPhone or iPad.

His role included selecting and coaching promising teenagers for a county representative side, including many academy players.

He also took the team on an overseas tour to Sweden

The court heard how in 2011 the defendant moved to west London, and started his own business coaching children’s rugby to boys aged eight to 16. 

He ran Simmo’s Rugby Stars in 2011 and Titan Sports Academy 2013. 

During the early part of 2014, Simmons employed a former friend.

The friend spotted a digital clock on the wall above the toilet and thought it was in an unusual position.

He later discovered five similar clocks in a filing cabinet. 

When he confronted Simmons about that, he was told they were there when he moved in.

However in August 2014 he saw one of the clocks next to a desk used by Simmons. 

He decided to have a closer look at the clocks in the filing cabinet and found some of them contained SD memory cards and all had camera lenses positioned at the front. 

He looked up the clocks online and found them for sale as ‘spy’ recording devices which could be operated by a remote control – which he later discovered in a pen pot on Simmons’ desk. 

He challenged Simmons again, who denied any knowledge of the cameras.

However he decided to quit his role and reported his suspicions to the police.

Investigators found nearly 500 videos, often containing more than one boy, at Simmons’ home in Ashford in Surrey and at a business address.

They also found a secret camera hidden in a Lynx shower bottle.

Simmons also posed as a teenage girl on Skype to encourage a boy to take part in online sexual activity.

Sentencing him, Judge Martin Griffith later said: ‘Rugby Union is more than just a game played for 80 minutes on a Saturday.

‘The lifeblood of the game is the young people who learn to play through schools, through club rugby, with the hopes and dreams, which might be dashed, that they might one day appear at Twickenham or other stadiums around the world.

‘In this day and age, such hopes and dreams usually include the involvement of people like you as coaches and the specific formulae of body mass index testing.

‘The players and parents who entrust these young people to coaches are entitled to and must be able to feel safe with you but you so gravely abused that trust by abusing those boys which is the worst part of this case.

‘It is, I suspect you know already, why I have to send you to prison today.’