May 2023

Youth football coach who worked for Celtic GUILTY of sexually abusing young boys

A perverted former Celtic football coach who “installed” himself in families suffering hard times is facing a jail term after being found guilty of abusing young boys in his care. 

Mark McAuley, 33, of Dunfermline broke down in tears in the dock after the jury found him guilty of sexually abusing two boys and directing sexual communications to others.

The beast who also coached at Dunfermline and Alloa Athletic was nailed following a four-day trial at Inverness Sheriff Court.

The jury took just over two hours to return guilty verdicts on all charges. 

He originally faced nine charges against four boys that allegedly occurred between 2016 and 2019 at addresses in the Highlands, Fife, Edinburgh and in a car on the A9 – but four of them were dropped during the trial. 

Despite McAuley stating that “nothing criminal happened” when the boys slept in his bed when they stayed over at his home the jury of eight men and six women returned a majority verdict. 

The jury heard from four young men who were as young as 13-year-old when McAuley targeted them over a three-year period after they joined his football academy, Do Soccer, which he set up in the Highlands. 

One boy told how he was pinned down and couldn’t move as the brute forced his hand down his underwear and “rubbed his penis.” 

The teenager, who we can’t name, stated that he was groped by the pervert on “several” occasions. 

He told the court: “He helped me when my parents split up. He was like a father figure to me. “When we were at his house we would play fight and that’s when he put his hand down by boxers and rubbed my private part – my penis. 

“I was just a few months into secondary school when he started. But it happened more than ten times over a few years.

“He would massage my leg and would keep going and wouldn’t stop until he was at my penis.”

Two of his victims described to the jury having their thighs massaged.

McAuley told the court this was done to “help” them recover after training.

Another boy told how McAuley described degrading sex acts to them in his car on the A9 in the Highlands. And a third told how he now thinks the beast’s actions were weird.

He said: “At the time I thought my relationship with Mark was good but looking back on it was weird.

“An adult shouldn’t be doing that sort of stuff with a kid. “One night two of us stayed over and he was lying in bed with his arm over one boy.”

Cops were called in after one of the boys told his mum what had happened.

During McAuley’s police recorded interview that was shown in court, he admitted to having boys sleeping in his bed when they stayed over – despite him having a sofa in his living room.

Prosecutor Susan Love told the jury in her closing speech: “Mark McAuley was in a position of trust and he abused that trust.

“He used that position of trust to sexually abuse two of his favourites.

“Mr McAuley installed himself in families who were going through a hard time – they trusted him and he breached that trust.

“He prayed on the boy’s vulnerabilities.” McAuley left Do Soccer in the Highland region in 2019.

He ran training sessions for Celtic Soccer Academy in Qatar

. Following his conviction Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald told him she will consider a custodial sentence and also placed him on the sex offenders register.

She said: “You have been convicted of all offences on the new indictment and I will obtain a Criminal Justice Social Work Report

“Clearly given the nature of the charges I must also consider a custodial sentence. 

McAuley will return to court on July 4 to be sentenced.