News by emailDonate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

court-justice-main_article_image.jpg
UK News

Retired headmaster facing jail after indecency at Christian youth group

John Coatman, now 75, has been on trial at the Old Bailey where he was accused of forming a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old member of an unnamed Christian youth group in the 1970s.

Jimmy Harris - Flickr

Jurors were told details of his abuse came to light following the victim's breakdown in marriage and problems at work in 2014.

Throughout the trial Coatman denied the allegations, claiming to be "shocked" to be arrested.

During evidence he said he had worked with around 22,000 young people throughout his 50 year association with the youth group and this was the first complaint.

He told the jury the only physical activity he engaged in with the young people was outdoor games and the topic of sex only ever came up during Bible studies.

But the jury rejected these explanations and found Coatman, of Leyburn Gardens, Croydon, guilty of two counts of gross indecency after four hours and 20 minutes of deliberations.

Sentencing will be carried out next month.

He's been bailed but warned by the Judge that a jail sentence would follow.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £5 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £5 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate