Ex football coach admits string of child sex offences

Anthony Chattell
Anthony Chattell
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The reputation of a former football coach today lay in tatters as he admitted a string of sex charges involving children.

Anthony Chattell, of Fulwood Heights, Fulwood, Preston, who worked at several clubs across Lancashire, appeared before Preston Crown Court for a preliminary hearing.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to nine charges in all.

Wearing a black coat and with his hair spiked, he stood solemnly in the dock as proceedings took place, watched by several people in the public gallery.

Chattell admitted charges including sexual activity with a girl under 16, four counts of making indecent images of children, three of inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, and grooming.

The charges relate to several girls, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and are alleged to have been committed between February 2008 and December 2014.

Prosecuting, Paul Brookwell said an application would be made to seek a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO).

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, told Chattell by virtue of his pleas he was now subject to sex offender notification requirements.

He added: “You have pleaded guilty to serious sexual offences involving children.

“You must understand all sentencing options are open, including a custodial sentence. You must realise that’s certainly a real likelihood as a result of this offending.”

He granted Chattell bail on the condition he does not access social media sites, has no contact with his alleged victims, or any unsupervised contact with under 18s.

Chattell is a prominent football coach who has worked for a host of clubs including Preston North End Women’s FC, Runshaw College and Accrington Stanley Football Club.

He is a UEFA B-licensed coach, and has a degree in Sports Coaching.

He was charged earlier this year after an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse.

He will be sentenced on June 5.