Adam Feest QC leads Berenice Mulvanny in successful high profile prosecution of football coach Bob Higgins
The predatory paedophile who used his reputation as a star-maker to abuse children whilst working as the Youth Development Officer at Southampton Football Club and Peterborough United was convicted of 45 counts of indecent assault against 23 victims. 3PB's Adam Feest QC, who heads the set's crime team, led Berenice Mulvanny for the prosecution in the nine-week trial at Bournemouth Crown Court following one of Hampshire Constabulary’s largest investigations.
This Defendant carried out a widespread campaign of sexual abuse against many of those in his charge spanning three decades from 1971-1996. Victims said they were abused during post-exercise soapy massages, in Higgins' car while he played love songs on the stereo and at his home where he cuddled with boys on his sofa.
The allegations arose after the NSPCC set up a dedicated helpline for people who had encountered childhood abuse within football. It was launched after a number of former footballers spoke on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme in November 2016.
The trial involved complex bad character arguments in relation to a previous acquittal in the early 1990s and a hearsay application for the evidence of one victim, Billy Seymour, who had waived his anonymity and tragically died in a car accident earlier this year. The prosecution called over 50 witnesses, some who were victims in previous proceedings against Bob Higgins.
He is due to be sentenced in early June at Winchester Crown Court. See press coverage here:
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