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Ex-sports coach from Hove sentenced for a third time for historic sex offences against boys

An ice hockey coach and sports teacher from Hove has been sentenced for a third time for yet another series of non-recent sexual offences against young boys, this time stretching back to a period nearly 50 years ago.

Michael James Green, 80, previously of Neville Avenue in Hove, denied another 12 counts of buggery and indecent assaults, when he appeared at Chichester Crown Court, but was convicted on Thursday 7 July after a nine-day trial.

On the following day, Friday 8 July, he was sentenced to 17-and-half years imprisonment.

The new offences against four more boys took place between 1973 and 1993 and came to light when the victims saw publicity about his previous offending and contacted the police.

At the time of the abuse, all of the boys were aged between 13 and 16 years of age.

Green met two of the boys when he worked as an insurance salesman in Brighton. One of the boys, who thought of Green as a family friend, but was abused in his own home.

Green gained access to the second boy through coaching an ice hockey team in Brighton, and took him to a popular local beauty spot, Devil’s Dyke, where he abused him. He also abused him at Green’s home address.

He forced the boys to perform sex acts and raped one of them.

Green then went on to be a sports coach at a boarding school in West Sussex where he abused the other two two boys, grooming and assaulting them. Both were full-time boarders.

The court heard that Green is already in prison, having been sentenced to nine years in September 2018 having been convicted of 17 indecent assaults between 1980 and 1994 against a total of seven boys then aged between 12 and 16, in addition to a nine-year sentence imposed in 2014.

He had met three of the boys while he was head coach of the juniors at the Brighton Ice Hockey Club, and one while he was involved in coaching junior cycle speedway in Havant.

A further three boys were separately assaulted while pupils at the same boarding school in West Sussex, between 1988 and 1994, where Green was a sports coach at the time. Green was convicted of four offences against one of them, three of which were committed during school trips to the cinema in Brighton and one at the school, and two offences against each of the other two boys, one of which was committed at Green’s then address, the other three being committed at the school.

The court also heard that Green had been previously been sentenced to nine years imprisonment in February 2014 for four counts of sexual offences against four young boys.

Those 2014 convictions had resulted from an investigation by detectives whereby a young boy had been sexually assaulted by Green in the early 1980’s when he was living in Nevill Avenue.

Further victims came forward during that investigation, and Green was convicted of one offence of buggery against a boy, and of indecent assault against three other victims. A further charge of buggery against the first boy was ordered to lie on the court file.

All the boys in the 2014 case were aged between 13 and 15 at the time of those offences which took place between 1981 and 1982. Green had met them separately in Havant and South London whilst he was engaged in the running of junior cycle speedway clubs. He had met his first victim at the now defunct Havant Cycle Speedway Club.

Detective Constable Nikki Thiim of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit, who investigated the latest allegations, said: “We have huge admiration for the courage the four latest victims have shown throughout the investigation and this trial. Their resilience to help see justice fully done, and the giving of their evidence at the trial has been remarkable. Green has always denied these allegations, which forced them to have to relive their experiences in court, which has been extremely difficult and upsetting for them.

“It is clear that for many years, Green has actively involved himself in families, befriending them, encouraging them to let him involve their sons in sport, giving him access to young and often vulnerable boys, who he has systematically abused.”

For further information on reporting sexual offences, no matter how long ago, see the Sussex Police website. 

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