April 2019

Paedophile football coach who abused boys after making them ‘man of the match’

A paedophile football coach who sexually abused boys after they were named ‘man of the match’ has been jailed.

Sydney Hallworth, 71, has been locked up for five years and six months for his sickening behaviour in the 1980s, when he ran a boys football team in Clayton.

Hallworth, a former bin man, was unanimously found guilty of five counts of indecent assault after a Manchester Crown Court trial.

“You singled them out so you could abuse them for your own sexual gratification,” a judge told Hallworth before sending him down.

The trial heard two boys played under Hallworth 1980s.

After they were made ‘man of the match’, Hallworth, then in his 30s, invited them for ‘one on one’ coaching at a sports complex. He picked them up in his Austin Princess.

Hallworth gave the boys ‘sports massages’ and sexually assaulted them, the court heard.

Both boys were under 16 when they were assaulted.

They came forward decades later following the Football Association’s enquiry into child abuse in youth football.

A statement from one of the victims, summarised in court by prosecutor Nicola Gatto, said he was ‘broken’, ’embarrassed’ and had ‘never actually been able to get on with his life’.

He became a semi-professional footballer, but later gave up the sport due to the abuse he suffered.

The man has suffered from alcoholism, and said he has ‘never been able to fulfil his full potential in life’.

The statement said he feels he has ‘let those close to him down’, but now feels a ‘sense of relief’ that he has disclosed what happened to him.

The man said he hopes Hallworth can now ‘reflect on the impact of his behaviour’, Ms Gatto added.

More than 20 years later, in 2011, Hallworth was sentenced for inciting a 15-year-old girl to engage into sexual activity.

The girl began talking with Hallworth, who was living in Droylsden at the time, when she started passing his home on a regular basis.

Later, he invited her into his house, where he gave her vodka and lemonade.

On another occasion, Hallworth offered the girl money to have sex with her.

She was ‘stunned’, the court heard, and didn’t go back.

Later, she was walking and became aware Hallworth was in a car, and told her to get in.

Hallworth told her he had recorded a conversation they had about problems with her boyfriend, and said he would sell it to local boys, depending on whether she agreed to have sex with him.

The girl called Childline and Hallworth was arrested, pleading guilty in court.

He was sentenced to a three-year community order and ordered to undertake a sex offender treatment program.

Hallworth, of Ellerthwaite Road, Windermere, Cumbria, must sign the sex offender register for life. An indefinite sexual harm prevention order was imposed.