April 2021

Former Gateshead football coach sexually assaulted drunk teen when she was unconscious

A disgraced former football coach sexually assaulted a drunk teenager after she passed out.

John Herring took advantage of the girl when she was unable to defend herself due to her condition.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the teenager was left feeling “dirty” as a result of her ordeal.

Herring, 58, of Temple Green, Gateshead, denied sexual assault but was found guilty by a jury after a trial, where the brave victim gave evidence about what happened to her.

She said in an impact statement: “He denied sexual assault, calling me a liar to anyone who would listen and people believed him.

“All I did was tell the truth.

“During the trial I felt sick to the point I could no longer eat and was on edge all the time.”

Judge Julie Clemitson sentenced Herring to 12 months behind bars.

He must sign the sex offenders register for ten years, abide by a sexual harm prevention order for seven years and a restraining order for life.

Judge Clemitson said the victim was “particularly vulnerable” when she was attacked and added: “She was incapable of doing anything to protect herself.

“Your actions caused her great distress. She felt it was her fault. She felt dirty. “

The judge said the victim had to live with being called a “liar” and added: “The offence has clearly caused her considerable distress, which in turn has caused difficulty in most spheres of her life.”

Judge Clemitson told Herring: “It is apparent you still maintain your innocence despite the fact the jury convicted you upon wholly convincing evidence.”

The court heard Herring was a steel worker and was a football coach until 2010.

He now has health difficulties that have caused him to have to shield for large parts of the pandemic.