Former Football Coach Convicted Of Indecent Assault At Winchester Crown Court
Specialist abuse lawyers acting for an alleged victim of Bob Higgins have welcomed the guilty verdict returned by a jury at Winchester Crown Court, where the former football coach was on trial.
Higgins, 65, a former Southampton FC and Peterborough United FC youth coach, was found guilty of indecently assaulting a young trainee. He was found not guilty of another count of the same offence, and the jury did not reach verdicts on 48 other counts of the same charge.
Higgins denied all the charges involving 24 complainants, while the prosecution said it would seek a retrial.
Christopher Hurlston, an abuse legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who represents an alleged victim of Higgins, said:
Expert Opinion“We welcome the jury’s decision to find Higgins guilty of one count of indecent assault. It does represent justice for the victim of Higgins’ crime.” Chris Hurlston - Senior Associate Solicitor
After an eight week trial and deliberating for over 25 hours at its conclusion, the jury was discharged. The jury found Higgins guilty by a majority of 10 to two of indecently assaulting a boy in a car in the 1980s.
A retrial is likely to be held next year on the remaining charges.
Christopher Hurlston has vast experience in football abuse cases having represented victims of Barry Bennell. He added:
Expert Opinion“While we will obviously await the retrial, we hope that the guilty verdict will send out a supportive message.
“A message which states you will be believed and supported should you choose to come forward and you can have confidence in the justice system to hold criminals, like Higgins, to account.
“Abuse survivors often suffer in silence and we praise the bravery of those who have come forward in this case, showing extreme courage to speak out about the abuse they suffered.” Chris Hurlston - Senior Associate Solicitor
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in abuse cases.