December 2011

Children’s sports coach Ross Connolly jailed for sexual assault of a child

A CHILDREN’S sports coach has been jailed after pleading guilty to sexual assault of a child and taking indecent photographs of a child.

Ross Connolly, of Upper Holly Hill Road, Belvedere, also pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child, possessing indecent photographs of a child and causing a child to watch a sexual act.

The 25-year-old worked as a sports coach in a number of primary schools in Bexley and Kent and also coached a children’s football team.

He was arrested by detectives from the Met’s Child Abuse Command on August 26 last year, after the parents of an 11-year-old boy became concerned that Connolly had been contacting their son outside sports sessions and had also sent him inappropriate text messages.

Officers searched Connolly’s home address and seized his laptop and a number of  mobile phones on which they found indecent images of children.

Amongst the video files was footage of Connolly sexually assaulting a young boy who was later identified.

The material was predominately images of boys – some were of an indecent nature, some were taken without the knowledge of the boys and some were copied from Facebook accounts.

Extensive enquiries were made to identify all of the children and a further two victims were identified.

Yesterday (December 20) at the Old Bailey Connolly was sentenced to an indeterminate prison sentence for public protection and will not be eligible to apply for parole for at least five years and three months.

He will also be required to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Detective Constable Kelly Ryan, from the Child Abuse Command, said: “Connolly is clearly predatory and a danger to young boys

“Obviously his position at the time of his arrest meant that he would have come into contact with children.

“While we have already undertaken and continue to undertake exhaustive inquiries to trace and contact as many of Connolly’s previous employers, educational and sports establishments, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal directly to anyone who feels they need to speak to a specially trained detective in regards to Connolly and previous contact they, or someone they know may have had with him.

“Callers will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and spoken to in complete confidence.”

Anyone with information should call 020 7230 3736 or 020 7230 3527.