July 2020

‘Indiscriminate’ paedophile convicted of rafts of sex crimes against four children

AN “indiscriminate” paedophile previously jailed for abusing young boys while coaching a Lake District football team has been found guilty of more crimes committed against four other children.

Anthony Pickering, 58, was jailed for five years in 2018 at Carlisle Crown Court after being convicted of molesting seven young players more than 30 years ago.

That sentence was hiked up to nine years at the Court of Appeal later later that year after a referral by the Solicitor General, who spoke of Pickering carrying out “horrific sexual assaults” which had “robbed multiple victims of their childhood”.

Pickering was already serving a 10-year prison term he received in 2012 for sexually assaulting a young girl in West Yorkshire.

It also emerged he was convicted of indecently assaulting two boys by a general court martial in Germany during the 1990s while serving with the Army.

Publicity generated by his 2018 trial promoted four more victims – two males and two females, all now adults – to tell police of abuse they also suffered at his hands.

One man revealed Pickering had abused him on multiple occasions, the first time when he was aged just six or seven. Once was in a remote rural Lakeland location they visited under his pretence of Pickering teaching the youngster survival skills, and another time after a junior football club training session in south Cumbria.

Another man and two women also spoke of sexual abuse they suffered.

Opening Pickering’s trial at Carlisle Crown Court, prosecutor Michael Maher had told a jury: “We say he was indiscriminate so far as his sexual gratification was concerned. Boys or girls. It didn’t matter to him.”

Bespectacled Pickering, who denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to a total of 16 sexual abuse offences, bowed his head in the court dock as unanimous guilty verdicts were announced by the jury foreman.

Judge Andrew Jefferies QC adjourned the case, saying he needed time to consider what would be a “complicated” sentencing exercise given sentences the defendant had received in the past and was still serving.

Judge Jefferies also said he was “duty bound” to ask the probation service to provide an assessment of the level of risk Pickering, previously of Claife Avenue, Windermere, poses to the public.

That could see additional restrictions placed on when he is released from custody.

“Anybody who behaves in this way towards children over a number of years sets the alarm bells ringing about dangerousness,” concluded Judge Jefferies.

Pickering was remanded in custody, and is due to be sentenced in September.

October 2018

Football coach paedophile has sentence increased after Solicitor General’s referral

The ex-coach of a Windermere under-12s football team who sexually assaulted 7 of his players has had his sentence increased after the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, referred it to the Court of Appeal for being too low.

Anthony Pickering, 56, who was between 17 and 20 years old at the time, carried out his campaign of sexual abuse over a 3 year period during the late 70s and early 80s. He coached boys aged 8 to 12, travelled to their matches, and also went on tour with them to Dumfries; opportunities he would use to carry out his abuse.

Pickering was originally sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court in August, where he was given 5 years imprisonment. This was on top of 10 years he was already serving for similar charges in 2012.

Today, after the Solicitor General’s referral, the Court of Appeal increased his sentence to 9 years imprisonment, on top of his previous sentence.

Commenting on the sentence increase, the Solicitor General said:

“To abuse a position of power and subject vulnerable children to such horrific sexual assaults is an abhorrent crime.

Pickering robbed multiple victims of their childhood, and I am pleased the Court of Appeal has agreed that his sentence deserved to be higher.”

August 2018

Sex assault coach Anthony Pickering ‘showed no remorse’

A former Lake District football coach who sexually assaulted youngsters before and after training sessions has been jailed for five years.

Anthony Pickering, 56, molested the boys – all aged under 14 – more than 30 years ago.

Pickering, formerly of Claife Avenue, Windermere, denied 10 indecent assault charges, but was convicted at Carlisle Crown Court last month.

Sentencing him, Judge James Adkin said he had shown “no remorse”.

Pickering targeted one boy while giving him lifts home.

He threatened another – vowing to report him for shoplifting if he spoke out about the offences.

Jurors heard Pickering, known as Tony, was convicted of indecently assaulting two other boys in similar circumstances by a general court martial in Germany in 1995 while serving with the Army.

He was subsequently given a dishonourable discharge.

At his sentencing hearing, it emerged Pickering is currently serving a 10-year jail term handed down in 2012 for sexually assaulting a young girl in West Yorkshire.

Judge Adkin told him: “Those boys looked up to you and to abuse them for your own sexual gratification is a gross breach of trust.

“This was a committed course of sexual misconduct against a vulnerable group of boys.”