July 2017

Former boys’ football coach has been jailed

A former boys’ football coach has been jailed for five years for the sex abuse of a young player.

Mark Ellis abused the 10-year-old during a series of attacks in 1991.

The 57-year-old, who lived in Biggar at the time, had been running a football team and training school in South Lanarkshire.

Ellis, who now lives in Birmingham, was jailed after being found guilty of lewd and libidinous behaviour at the High Court in Glasgow.

During the trial, his victim told the court that Ellis had threatened to kill him if he told anyone.

More than a decade later, he travelled nearly 300 miles to confront Ellis at his home in the Midlands

His abuser told him: “I’m sorry – I knew this day was coming.”

His mum also challenged Ellis, saying: “You abused my son. You think you have ruined him, but you have not.”

The jury heard that Ellis had also coached boys at Birmingham City.

Ellis finally appeared in court in June 2015 after his victim went to the police, but he denied the charges and claimed he was innocent.

Passing sentence, Judge Johanna Johnston QC told him: “You were trusted by his parents, you were treated as a friend of the family.

“You abused that trust in the most grave manner.”

The victim was first attacked in his family home in 1991 and was later abused at Ellis’s flat in Biggar, Lanarkshire.

The boy was also attacked in changing rooms at a sports club and in Ellis’s Land Rover. The attacks ended later that year when the victim said he had had “enough”.

He told the jury: “I remember saying, ‘Kill me if you want.’”

Years later, he confided in a friend about what had happened.

June 2017

Vile South Lanarkshire boys’ football coach caged for sex abuse of young player

A VILE boys’ football coach has been caged for the sexual abuse of a young player.

Mark Ellis preyed on the 10 year-old during a string of attacks in 1991.

He had been running a team and training school in South Lanarkshire at the time.

A jury heard how Ellis, 57, also coached boys at Birmingham City.

His victim recalled how the pervert had threatened to kill him if he told anyone.

But, more than a decade later, he travelled nearly 300 miles to confront Ellis at his now home in the Midlands.

His abuser told him: “I’m sorry – I knew this day was coming.”

But, during a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Ellis denied the crimes claiming he was innocent.

Now he now faces a lengthy jail-term after being found guilty of lewd and libidinous behaviour.

Judge Johanna Johnston QC told him: “You have been convicted of one of the most serious sexual offences…one against a child. It is a grave offence.”

Ellis was remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.

The jury heard how the victim – now 37 – loved football as a child and went on to be coached by Ellis, who lived in Biggar, South Lanarkshire at the time.

The first attack occurred in the boy’s family home on Easter Sunday 1991 before he was abused at Ellis’ flat.

Prosecutor Shanti Maguire asked: “By the time it got to this stage, did you ever want to tell anyone?”

He replied: “No – this was because Mark threatened that he would have to kill the two of us if I told anyone.”

The boy was also attacked in changing rooms at a local sports club and in Ellis’ Land Rover.

The attacks ended later in 1991 when the victim said he had had “enough”.

He told the jury: “I remember saying ‘kill me if you want’. I remember looking at Mark…I really could not stand the sight of him by then.”

The victim was then “delighted” when he found out Ellis had moved out the area.

It was years later he confided in a friend what had happened.

He was said to have been “completely broken and distraught”.

In around 2005 – joined by family and friends – the victim travelled to England to confront his abuser at his home.

He recalled: “Mark said: ‘I am sorry’. He kept saying sorry, sorry.

“Mark also said: ‘I knew that this day was coming.”

His mum also challenged Ellis stating: “You abused my son. You think you have ruined him, but you have not.”

It was not until June 2015 that Ellis finally appeared in court after the victim bravely went to police.

Miss Maguire asked did he have any reason to lie about Ellis.

He replied: “No, none at all. I don’t know if I even hate him. I just want justice for that wee boy.”

The prosecutor went on: “That wee boy being yourself?”

The witness: “Yes.”

His mum also gave evidence and told how she initially had no concerns about her son being with Ellis.

She said: “I really trusted him…I felt as if he would have looked after him.”

Ellis denied in court apologising to the victim when he turned up at his door.

Claiming he was innocent, he added: “It was shocking – it was not something that you expect to be accused of.”

In her closing speech, Miss Maguire said Ellis was guilty of a “gross breach of trust”.

She added the victim had given “a completely and utterly compelling” account of his ordeal.

The advocate depute said: “Mark Ellis was there to coach boys and help them in their lives.

“He was the man who took the boy to football, brought him back – and abused him.”

Sentencing on Ellis, now of Birmingham, was deferred for reports.

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