‘Jekyll and Hyde’ sexual predator Truro cricket coach jailed
A “Jekyll and Hyde” sexual predator cricket coach who used his position to abuse woman players has been sent to prison.
Victims of David Taylor, 61, still speak of him as a brilliant coach, such was the impossible position he put them in.
Taylor, of Upland Crescent in Truro, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having last week been found guilty of six sexual assaults on three women.
Back in 2021 Taylor was convicted after a trial but not jailed for touching a woman and a teenager without consent. Media coverage of the trial resulted in more victims coming forward and a second trial taking place.
Taylor’s latest offending involved touching up or kissing three women, as well as exposing his penis to one of them. Taylor even brazenly offended with others present.
At Taylor’s sentencing, a victim impact statement was read to the court on behalf of one of the victims in which she spoke of not realising how inappropriate the behaviour was and feeling angry, stressed and physically and mentally exhausted by the ordeal.
A second victim read a powerful victim impact statement in person. She said: “I feel an array of emotions. I feel relieved, anxious, sadness and guilt. I remain thankful for his efforts in making me better at cricket and feel sad it has come to this.
“Ten years ago cricket was a male dominated sport with no grassroots funding for women. We felt lucky to have someone to give us quality coaching and I looked back on those times with fond memories. These memories have now been tarnished by the realisation I was a victim of sexual abuse.”
The woman went on to state her belief that Taylor deliberately put himself in that position to have access to young women. She added: “I still feel incredibly uneasy in the company of men and aside from my family don’t allow myself to be in a room alone with men. Each time I go to Truro city centre I feel anxiety that I may bump into him.” The woman said that she wanted to seek justice and closure for women who are abused and hopes that appropriate safeguarding measures will be put in place allowing women to enjoy sport without having to worry about anything else.
Representing Taylor, Jason Beal said his client continues to deny wrongdoing, and the court process has also taken its toll on his health. Mr Beal added: “He is a hard working man who has continued to work hard.”
Sentencing Taylor, Judge Simon Carr said: “It was clear in the trial that for many years you were a highly respected cricket coach in Cornwall. One of the striking features in this case is that those you abused still speak highly of you as a coach and someone who promoted women’s cricket n Cornwall.
“I have heard the phrase used often but it is clear you have a genuine Jekyll and Hyde personality. On the one hand you were an exceptional cricket coach going above and beyond to help and support. On the other hand you are a sexual predator who used your position to abuse women. Your family and friends still probably don’t believe it as they only saw one side of you.
“All of the abuse towards these women occurred in a cricket setting. These were three young women who all saw cricket as an integral part of their lives and each said when asked why they didn’t speak out that it wasn’t just a case of not being believed due to your standing in society, but losing what they loved (cricket).
“You abused them for your own sexual gratification and amusement. You were clearly ramping up to see what you could get away with and on occasions there were people nearby.”
Judge Carr noted the immense psychological effect on the victims, saying that they were left either having to keep quiet and put up with Taylor’s actions or lose everything they loved.
Judge Carr added: “You continued to deny your offending against five people saying they all lied. You have showed no remorse. You were a sexual predator operating against multiple victims over a substantial period of time.”
Taylor was jailed for 21 months.
The facts of the 2023 case
Opening the second trial – two years after Taylor was convicted of similar crimes (see below) but walked free – prosecutor Rowan Jenkins told the jury that Taylor had been a coach for both local and county women’s cricket teams.
He said: “This case involves allegations from three different women players. While having much good to say about his skills and character, they had to endure unwanted sexual touching by him.”
Mr Jenkins said that the first victim “genuinely thought highly of David Taylor and said he was a good coach but there was always a bit about him that was a bit unnerving”. Mr Jenkins described how, after a game against Camborne, the woman had been got out and was angry at herself. She was said to have been stood in the pavilion when Taylor came up behind her and kissed her neck.
Some time later she described Taylor walking over to her and grabbing her crotch in a pavilion with a number of people – including Taylor’s family – present. He made a grotesque sexual comment to her in the process.
Moving on to the second victim, Mr Jenkins said that towards the end of a season the woman was packing up and getting ready to leave after a session when Taylor invited her into his car “to talk about next season”.
Mr Jenkins said: “Suddenly, out of the blue he took hold of her face and started to kiss her. She was 20 and he was 24 years older. She was surprised and accepts in her surprise she may have kissed back for a bit. He put his hand up her top briefly and she recalls freezing. She started telling him why it was not right but instead of stopping he went to kiss her again and this time put his hands between her legs.”
Later on that season, Taylor again crossed boundaries by approaching the player in the car park and starting to kiss her. This woman was also victim of a third offence, in which Taylor walked over to her on the pitch and put his hand on her private parts over her shorts leaving her shocked.
The second victim spoke of otherwie getting on well with Taylor, him being a good coach and supporting her personally. These incidents are said to have resulted in players getting together and agreeing that none of them would be left alone with Taylor.
Mr Jenkins said that the final victim recalls that during a group photo, Taylor put his hand between her legs and pinched her bottom.
The first trial
During the first trial in 2021 he court was told how Taylor told his first victim that he ‘shouldn’t really fancy her’ and, on another occasion, in 2006, sat next to her, put his arm around her, slid his hand in her underwear and touched her bottom cheeks for about 30 seconds. The victim said she felt sick.
Two years later, Taylor praised the way his victim looked. A year later, when she was still underage, he approached her as she was waiting in a car with a window down and kissed her on the lips.
Prosecuting, Simon Burns said the victim felt like she couldn’t get away. She did not feel able to report Taylor’s offending until 2018.
Mr Burns said Taylor’s victim said she ‘can’t ever escape what he did’.
“I can’t ever escape that and it doesn’t feel like surviving to me,” he added, reading her victim statement.
Taylor approached her for what she thought would be a hug before Taylor slid his hand down her underwear. She hid in a toilet, where she cried.
The complainant told her husband, who challenged Taylor, who in turn denied any offending took place.
“I refuse to be his victim,” she said in her victim statement, adding that Taylor brought “so much anxiety” to herself and her loved ones.