Feb 2002

Molester has jail term cut

A top swimming coach dubbed the “pool pervert” after molesting boys in his training team has had his sentence cut.

Michael Drew, of Laindon, pleaded guilty to indecent assault at Snaresbrook Crown Court in April 2001 and was given an eight-year jail sentence.

The 55-year-old, a former president of the British Swimming Coaches Association, molested the boys between 1969 and 1991 on the pretence his actions would help their development as swimmers.

Three top judges ruled Drew’s sentence as “manifestly excessive” and cut it to six years.

Lord Justice Longmore said Drew had not gone into coaching to gain access to boys. He added although the incidents were serious and involved a breach of trust, they were not of the most “depraved nature.”

June 2001

Swimming coach is jailed for sex abuse

ONE OF Britain’s leading swimming coaches was jailed for eight years yesterday for what a judge described as an “utterly depraved” campaign of sexual abuse against young boys.

Michael Drew, President of the British Swimming Coaches Association, was involved in attacks on boys as young as 13, which took place over a period of 20 years. Drew had publicly promised to lead efforts to rid swimming of paedophiles after a scandal involving another coach five years ago.

Drew, 55, from Laindon, Essex, was convicted after some of his victims came forward two years ago with evidence of how they had been abused as children. Between the late Sixties and 1991, the coach abused and fondled at least five boys aged between 13 and 15 at schools and swimming clubs in and around London.

Sentencing Drew at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Judge David Radford said: “There can be no doubt that your criminality was utterly depraved and was undertaken by you in complete disregard to the boys who were in your charge. Your only thought was to manipulate the opportunity to gain selfish and perverted sexual gratification.” Judge Radford said Drew would be entered on a child sex register for life.

The court was told that another swimming coach Paul Hickson, who trained swimmers for the Seoul and Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1988 and 1984, was convicted of 17 offences including rape in 1996.

Speaking after that case in his role as President of the BSCA, Drew said: “The Hickson case did a lot of damage to our profession. Now we have to establish the procedure that will make it easier for suspects to be dealt with. If anyone has any doubts about the conduct of one of our members they should come directly to me.”