January 2019

Ex-football coach jailed for abusing boys in Perth

An ex-football coach who sexually assaulted three boys has been jailed for nine years.

Norman Shaw, 84, abused the boys between August 1979 and December 1989 when he was involved with a children’s team called Perth Rovers.

He was arrested after his first two victims contacted police in 2016 and told detectives what had happened.

Shaw, who admitted the charges, had already served two jail sentences for sexual offences.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Shaw shook his head in disbelief when the sentence was handed to him.

Judge Lady Clark said: “A lengthy custodial sentence in this case is inevitable. You used your position as a football coach to abuse the complainers in this case – you must bear responsibility for that.

“Their lives have been devastated by your actions.”

Shaw pled guilty to the charges at the High Court last month but the sentence was deferred to obtain reports about his character.

The court had previously heard Shaw’s first victim was aged just three-years-old when the abuse started.

Prosecutor Margaret Barron told the court: “The accused was coaching boys who played with Perth Rovers for a period of about 10 years. It was through this connection that the accused managed to visit the boy’s home address and became a friend of the family.

“As the witness got older he made more of an effort to get away from the accused. He kept what happened to him by the accused secret to until he was aged 17 years.

“At that time he told his mother. He has attended counselling over the years due to the abuse he sustained by the accused.”

Shaw repeatedly sexually assaulted another boy in Perth between January 1980 and January 1985. The boy was aged six when the abuse started.

Between August 1985 and December 1989, Shaw abused another Perth Rovers player, starting when he was aged 11.

Ms Baron said Shaw invited the boy and others to his home and let them watch TV and play computer games.

She said: “A few weeks into the football season of 1985, the complainer noticed more and more that it was only he and the accused within the accused’s home address after matches and training.”

The sexual abuse then began before Christmas of the same year and took place on a regular basis until 1989.

The court heard that a victim attempted suicide in 1991 because of what Shaw had done to him.

Shaw’s lawyer, Niall McCluskey told Lady Clark: “He knows he has crossed a line. There’s an expression of remorse.”

Lady Clark said the only sentence available to her was custody and she placed Shaw on the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period.