A football coach who abused a young boy in the back of the team’s minibus has been jailed.
Stephen Francis Turton (10/06/1952) of The Mead, Salford was sentenced to 13 years and 6 months in prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of committing indecency with a child, six counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square on Wednesday 6 March 2019.
He was issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 15 years and must sign the sex offender register for life.
Turton was the coach of a now-disbanded local youth football team in Salford in the early 1990s when he targeted a player who was under 11-years-old at the time.
Turton drove a red van with rear seats converted to house benches to transport the players.
He sexually abused his victim in the van while taking photos, claiming he would sell the pictures and give the victim the proceeds.
Turton groomed his victim by plying him with alcohol and giving him quantities of cash.
The abuse continued until the boy was 13.
The court heard the abuse caused the boy to go ‘off the rails’ for a period and he began drinking and using drugs.
He disclosed what had happened to him to a friend around five years ago and – after a reunion was arranged on social media for former players of the club – Turton’s abuse came to light.
Turton was subsequently arrested, telling the police the incidents were ‘just two mates messing about’.
After his arrest, the abuse of a second boy – whom Turton abused between the ages of 8 to 16 – came to light.
The court heard Turton showed the second boy pornographic videos, including videos of animal bestiality and offered him beer in return for performing sex acts together.
Turton’s prosecution forms part of Operation Corduroy – an investigation into non-recent sexual abuse in youth organisations.
Detective Constable Joanne Tinsley of GMP’s Major Incidents Team said: “Turton abused his position of trust as the coach of a youth football team to sexually abuse a child in his care for his own perverted gratification.
“Our enquiries revealed there was also a second boy who suffered abuse due to the sickening behaviour of this manipulative and controlling individual.
“Upon arrest Turton was dismissive of his offending. Quite staggeringly, he tried to claim he was simply ‘messing about’.
“Throughout the court process he has failed to acknowledge the magnitude of his offending and what an awful, corrosive impact it has had on these young men, who had their whole lives ahead of them.
“The boys have both continued to struggle to lead normal lives and still continue to come to terms with their abuse.
“Their strength in coming forward to police has helped put a dangerous offender behind bars and we hope that today’s sentencing offers them and their families some form of closure.
“We will continue to support any victims of non-recent sexual abuse and we work closely with partner organisations and charities to provide victims with specialist support.
“We understand that reporting such traumatic events is extremely difficult and we will continue to assist any victims in any way that we can.
“Anyone who wishes to come forward is asked to contact police on 101, I would like to reassure you that there will be support for you throughout.”
Greater Manchester is nationally recognised as a model of good practice in terms of support services available to victims.
– If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police, or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.
– You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can refer themselves to St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0161 276 6515, whether or not you want make a police report.
– St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them via Greater Manchester Police, or as a self-referral.
– Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential support service run by women for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused. Confidential helpline: 0161 273 4500.
– Survivors Manchester offers support and counselling for adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, regardless of when the event happened. Contact 0161 236 2182.