April 2022

‘Wild creature’ Leigh Park football coach jailed

AN ‘evil’ predatory football coach who inflicted pain and trauma on boys who ‘looked up’ to him was handed a sentence of nearly 17 years – with parents of the victims admitting they hope he ‘rots in hell’ for his despicable actions.

‘Smirking’ paedophile Alfie Morel, 24, formerly of Tidcombe Green, Leigh Park, had denied targeting three boys during a campaign of seduction that led to accusations of rape, sexual assaults, and sending explicit pictures and videos of himself

But ‘wild creature’ Morel was found guilty of eight offences at Portsmouth Crown Court in January.

These included attempted rape, two counts of sexual communication with a child, three counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, causing or inciting a child into sexual activity, and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

At his sentence hearing today, Morel was also sentenced for sexual communication with a 14-year-old girl

Judge Richard Shepherd served up a total sentence of 16 years and 10 months for Morel.

He told the paedophile: ‘You groomed the boys and in some cases sexually abused them for the purposes of your own sexual gratification. You ingratiated yourself into those families, you groomed their families as well as the boys.

‘You installed yourself in a position of trust and responsibility in the school environment and football coaching world.

‘You lied, you manipulated, you coerced, bribed and cajoled all for your own sexual pleasure.

‘You had been warned about your behaviour in terms of safeguarding. You ignored that training and warning – all because you wanted to be alone with children so you could abuse them.’

Morel was also handed an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and sexual notification requirements.

At one point during the sentencing hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court, the judge told Morel to “stop smirking”.

He will serve two-thirds of his sentence behind bars meaning he will be released from jail after around 10 years if he is deemed fit.

The crimes – carried out over eight months in 2020 and 2021 – and involving multiple young boys came to light when one of the victims, who was 12 at the time, told his mother Morel had sent him sexual messages.

The boy revealed the coach had committed a sex act in front of him, sexually assaulted him and bribed him to perform sex acts on him in exchange for money or Fifa football video games points.

The court also heard Morel would share images with his victims on Instagram, before moving the conversations to Snapchat, allowing him to “delete compromising messages”.