March 2019

Ten years in jail for former Stortford football coach who sexually abused boy

A former Bishop’s Stortford man who used his position as a football coach in the 1970s to sexually abuse a boy has been sentenced to 10 years and four months in prison.

Raymond Wheeler, 61, appeared at Luton Crown Court today (Friday, March 15) for sentencing. He had pleaded guilty at a hearing on February 11 to three counts of indecent sexual assault on a boy and, on at least 10 occasions, inciting a boy to commit an act of gross indecency.

The offences happened in Stortford between 1976 and 1978 when the victim was aged 12 to 14. He is now 54.

The court heard how Wheeler, who was aged 19 to 21 at the time of the offences, groomed the victim when he worked as a coach for the boy’s football club.

He went to the victim’s home to talk about football and then arranged for him to visit his own home, which is where the abuse began.

Wheeler would give the boy and his teammates lifts in his vehicle, dropping off the victim last. The victim described how he had felt safe at these times, having been the victim of bullying.

As well as the prison sentence, Wheeler, who now lives in Leigh-on-Sea, will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.