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British golf pro jailed in Spain for sexual abuse of girl, 14, over five years
A British golf professional who subjected a young girl to five years of sexual abuse has been jailed for nine years.
Sean Stiff, a former pro at Branston Golf and Country Club, Burton, Staffordshire and Manor Golf Club, in Kingstone, and Broughton Heath Golf Club, in Church Broughton, was jailed by a court in Spain after admitting sexually abusing the girl.
The 40-year-old was living on the Costa del Sol, where he ran El Soto de Marbella golf club.
His victim, now 14, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed Stiff, who was known to the family and had taught her to play golf, had abused her for five years from the age of eight.
Her family, originally from England, said the teenager was still struggling to cope with the ordeal, was plagued by feelings of guilt and had counselling after she began self-harming.
The girl’s mother said: ‘I don’t think I would be happy with whatever sentence he got, because nothing’s ever going to stop what my daughter is going to suffer for the rest of her life.
‘It’s just been hell. I can’t begin to describe what it’s been like.
‘She’s had so many problems and started cutting herself – she didn’t know how to take away the pain.’
She added that her daughter is now on medication to help her to sleep, doesn’t eat properly and that it’s disrupting her education. The 14-year-old does not know who to trust or how to talk to people and is very secretive.
‘She blames herself for it because she thinks she could have stopped it, and feels guilty,’ she said.
Stiff was previously golf professional at Broughton Heath Golf Club in Church Broughton, and Manor Golf Club in Kingstone, near Uttoxeter.
After some time at Branston, Stiff moved seven years ago to Spain, where he was golf professional at Cabopino Golf Club, in Marbella, becoming head professional at El Chaparral Golf Club, in Mijas Costa, near Fuengirola, before moving to El Soto.
He is understood to have taught golf, run competitions and set up a children’s academy at the latter club, where he taught his victim to play golf before the allegations came to light a year ago.
The girl’s mother said: ‘She rang me up at work and said she needed to talk to me. I went to see her and she told me: ‘Sean’s a paedophile’. She said this had been happening since she was eight.
‘We were just shocked. Everybody loved Sean and he was well respected for his golf. Nobody had anything bad to say about him.’
‘I confronted him about it and he didn’t deny it. He said he wanted to go and get help but there’s no therapy for something like that.
‘I couldn’t believe that he would do something like this. We thought we knew him.
‘I don’t feel hate for him, I just feel numb. All my energy now goes into looking after my daughter.’