March 2012

Child sex shame of top Manchester amateur football referee Stephen Slotwiner


A top amateur football referee who molested two girls has been jailed for six years.

Stephen Slotwiner – who has officiated at Manchester City and United Academy matches – repeatedly abused his young victims in the 70s and 80s.

But his life is now in tatters after his paedophile past was exposed by a Manchester Crown Court case. Even after he was convicted Slotwiner tried to keep his crimes secret by applying for a court order banning his name from being published.

But the ban was lifted by Judge Martin Steiger QC following an appeal from the M.E.N. The judge said Slotwiner’s name ‘can and should be published’, and added: “The interests of justice require that publicity is given to the decisions of law courts in serious cases such as this.”

The court heard how Slotwiner, 66, of Leaches Farm, Rochdale, made one of his young victims watch pornography and told her she would be thrown from a building if she did not comply with his sick demands. In the 1980s the former salesman became coach at Bury Amateurs, steering them to the top of the league for two seasons in a row.

Until recently, Slotwiner refereed Sunday morning matches at Bury Football Club’s Academy, officiating at games for youngsters aged nine and above. He has also officiated at City and United Academy matches, Bury FC ladies games involving girls as young as eight and school matches across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Slotwiner also coached in the US and has taken part in competitions in Israel. Neither of the former salesman’s victims, who are still suffering the after-effects of the abuse, were connected with football. He pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent assault. Judge Steiger banned Slotwiner from working with children, including refereeing football games.

Karen Brookes, prosecuting, told how one of the victims had challenged Slotwiner when she believed he was about to molest a third child. Jane Greenhalgh, defending Slotwiner, said: “He accepts he has acted in a despicable way. He has been unsure over many years as to why he would have done these things.”

Slotwiner himself has described his behaviour as having ‘crossed the line of decency’, the court heard. Sentencing him, Judge Steiger said: “You might bear in mind, as I do, the appalling effects that your conduct has had. I do not suggest, for one second, you had any idea at the time just how serious it would be in their later lives.”