Ex-Birchfield Harriers coach jailed for molesting Olympic hopeful
A former Birchfield Harriers coach who sexually abused a young athlete has been jailed for 18 months.
David Billiard, also an ex-policeman, took advantage of the victim’s desire to take part in the Olympics.
He was convicted, following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court , of two charges of sexual assault of a male but was cleared of another charge of sexual assault.
Billiard, 58, of Dyas Road, Great Barr , who had denied all the charges, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.
The court heard that Billiard “spotted” the victim during a school sports day event when he was 12.
The abuse took place when he was aged between 13 and 16 after he joined the club.
Peter Grice, prosecuting, said the defendant gave the teenager lifts home and also took him to his own home for lunch where he gave him naked massages and molested him.
The victim kept quiet at the time as he saw Billiard as someone in a position of authority and not think he would be believed, the court heard.
Mr Grice said: “He continued to have the defendant coach him because he believed that, with the defendant’s help, he cold achieve some sort of success and take part in the Olympic Games.
“He was prepared to do anything the defendant suggested to realise that ambition.”
Billiard also took the teenager and another athlete on a trip to Florida.
He abused him while they shared a hotel bed.
There was also a trip to a nightclub when Billiard, who was in the company of another officer, indecently touched the victim in a car after he got drunk.
Mr Grice said Billiard gave the victim cash and took him on shopping trips.
He said the abuse stopped after the teenager suffered injury problems and left the club.
Passing sentence, Judge Simon Drew QC told Billiard: “There are two significant aggravating features in this case.
“The first is that it involved a breach of trust.
“You were a coach in your late 20’s and early 30’s and the complainant was a young teenage boy.
“There is the obvious and clear impact that this conduct has had on the victim and the relationship with his wife.”
The judge said he had taken into account the testimonials he had heard, which spoke of Billiard in the highest of terms, and also his 30 years of service in the police force.