November 2017

Pervert football coach who made 12-year-old boys strip naked dodges jail

A pervert from Ayrshire who was found guilty of abusing two 12-year-old schoolboys in East Kilbride has escaped jail.

John O’Neil was handed a community payback order at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Monday after pleading guilty to two charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards 12-year-old boys.

The court heard last month how the 52-year-old, of Newmilns, East Ayrshire, had no football coach training but set up a new youth team in the town.

When measuring the boys for new football strips, he took them individually into cramped toilet cubicles at Duncanrig Secondary and Dunedin Pavilion and ordered his victims to strip.

The boys took off their tracksuit bottoms, T-shirt and underwear and O’Neil measured their naked bodies “from their crotch to their ankles”.

They were left embarassed by what had happened. However, despite being reported to police in 1997, O’Neil escaped prosecution for two decades.

He was eventually brought to justice as part of a police operation into historical child sex abuse within Scottish football.

Sentencing O’Neil to a three-year supervision order, 250 hours of unpaid work and placing him on the sex offenders’ register for three years, Sheriff Robert Weir said a period in custody would not provide the “adequate supervisory elements I’d consider appropriate”.

O’Neil was also told he is not allowed any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16.

October 2017

Newmilns pervert admits abusing two schoolboys while posing as a football coach

A Newmilns pervert has admitted abusing two schoolboys while posing as a football coach.

John O’Neil pled guilty to two charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the 12-year-old boys two decades ago.

The abuse took place at Duncanrig Secondary and Dunedin Pavilion, East Kilbride.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard this week how the depraved 52-year-old had instructed his victims to strip in a “cramped toilet cubicle” while measuring their naked bodies for new strips.

O’Neil was first reported for the abuse in 1997, however, his victim’s confessions were not upheld and he escaped prosecution for 20 years.

Prosecuting, the fiscal depute told the court how O’Neil had placed an advertisement in a local paper looking for boys around 12-years old to play in a new start-up youth team he was to coach.

Court also heard how O’Neil described himself as a ‘self-taught’ coach with no previous form of training.

In abusing his victims, he told the boys they needed football strips and gathered the team together to measure them – he then took them separately and individually into a private changing area.

He instructed the boys to take off their tracksuit bottoms, t-shirt and then their underwear. The fiscal told the court: “They were embarrassed by this.”

O’Neil stood behind the boys and measured their chests before giving them the top of the measuring tape to hold.

He then crouched down and measured their naked bodies from their crotch to their ankles.

The depraved acts took place in a cramped toilet cubicle.

One of the boys was so embarrassed, the court heard, that he told someone about the incident.

O’Neil was initially interviewed by the police in 1997 and denied the allegations. But 20 years on he was snared when new information came to light following “a recent operation into football coaches in Scotland”.

Following further investigations O’Neil was interviewed at Kilmarnock Police Office on May 2 this year.

“He admitted he had no form of coaching experience and indicated he had no recollection of the incidents in question,” said the fiscal. He was later charged.

The case was adjourned until November 20 for background reports. O’Neil was bailed and told he will be put on the Sex Offender’s Register meantime.