Predator jailed for further historic sexual abuse on boy in Burgess Hill
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A former children’s football coach has been convicted of further sexual offences committed against young boys in Burgess
Robert Michael Blackmore, known then as Mike Blackmore, was a volunteer coach in Burgess Hill during the 1990s.
He was convicted in 2004 for 11 counts of indecent assault on boys in the early 1990s, and was jailed for seven years.
Upon his release, Blackmore changed his name to Michael O’Neill.
In 2020, a new victim came forward with allegations, and Blackmore attended a voluntary interview to answer the further questions.
Detective Constable Chris Smith, formerly from the Complex Abuse Unit, investigated the new offences, and Blackmore was charged.
At Lewes Crown Court on January 13, Blackmore, 71, of High Street, Stockbridge, Hampshire, admitted six further charges of indecent assault on a boy in the early 1990s.
Dale Sullivan, prosecuting, told the court how Blackmore had groomed the victim by taking him on football trips such as to visit Old Trafford for a match between Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion.
Blackmore met the victim through the youth football, and then claimed to offer the victim work in his electronics business.
But while alone, Blackmore indecently assaulted the victim. This included while on trips away from his family, and in his car in isolated locations.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described the impact on his family and himself, with the impact of anxiety, nervousness and depression.
“The effects of this abuse will never go away, and came close to destroying my family.” he said.
The victim says the abuse has left him with trauma, and described Blackmore as a “coward” and a “predator”.
His Honour Judge David Rennie sentenced Blackmore to a further six and a half years in prison for the historic offences.
DC Smith said: “This case demonstrates the lifelong impact that sexual abuse has on victims.
“Blackmore ingratiated himself with boys families to earn their trust, then abused that trust by committing these crimes.
“The victim showed enormous courage to come forward and report his experiences.
“It shows that Sussex Police takes these reports very seriously, and investigates all reports of sexual offences thoroughly.
“We are pleased that the victim got justice, and hopefully he can begin to move on with his life.”
Advice for victims of sexual offences, including support available to help, is online here.
Information about how police approach an investigation into sexual offences is available here.