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Jailed: Telford school football coach, 26, a child sex 'predator'

By Jordan Reynolds | Telford | Crime | Published:

A school football coach from Telford described as a "sexual predator" has been jailed for 30-months after he was found guilty of a string of child sex offences.

Joe Hall

Joe Hall, 26, who held a supervisory role at a school in Telford and also volunteered with a dance team, was found guilty of seven counts including multiple charges of sexual activity with children aged between 13 and 17.

He was found not guilty of one count of possessing extreme pornographic images involving animals following a trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

The charges mainly relate to activity over mobile phones, including sending and requesting sexual pictures and videos.

A jury found Hall guilty of guilty of indecent exposure, inciting a child to sexual activity with one victim and showing a video of a sexual act to two others under the age of 16 .

He was also found guilty of sending lewd pictures and a pornographic video link to another victim, inciting a child to observe him in a live feed on social media, and inciting a child to send sexual images to him.

With a further victim, Hall was found guilty of sending photos and a text message containing sexual references, and inciting the victim to engage in sexual activity.

Mr Andrew Wallace, on behalf of the crown, said that the victims had voiced anger that Hall had not admitted or accepted any wrongdoing.

He said: "He continued to lie about what he did to them.

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"The victims also share the sentiment about being scared of bumping into him.

"One of the victims said she doesn't feel like she can trust anyone again, even her teachers or people employed by the teachers."

Simon Mintz, on behalf of Hall, said: "When these offences occurred Joe Hall was just 24, a foolish, immature young man."

Today at Shrewsbury Crown Court, Judge Peter Barrie handed Hall, of Brands Farm Way, Randlay, a 30-month prison sentence, of which he will serve half in custody.

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Hall was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 14 years, will be prevented from working with children in the future, cannot go within 100 metres of the school and will be on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Judge Barrie said: "You chose to make a career as a sports coach to children and young people.

"You were being trusted by their parents with their safety and wellbeing.

Position of trust

"To anybody taking that responsibility for looking after young people the idea of being tempted to get into a Facebook or Snapchat relationship with them should be completely out of the question.

"Instead of behaving like that towards the children who were in your care, you became a sexual predator.

"One of the victims was interested in finding work within the company you worked for, and you gave the victim a lift and exposed yourself to her.

"It was to her credit that she refused point blank and walked away."

An NSPCC spokesman welcomed the conviction and said: “Hall abused his position of trust by grooming children who would have looked to him for guidance and support.

“It’s vital that young people are able to recognise the signs of grooming, and that they know where to turn for help.

“The online world presents a number of dangers for children and Hall used social media to target some of his victims.

"The NSPCC is currently campaigning to make the web safer and is calling on the government to introduce measures such as grooming alerts and an independent regulator to force social networks to protect children.”

Jonathan Kelleher, Senior Crown Prosecutor with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Joe Hall was in a position of trust and responsibility which had been placed in him by his employers, his pupils and their parents. He exploited this position of trust in order to target young girls who he then engaged in sexually activity via social media.

“I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the victims for their courage and support in assisting the prosecution team to bring this dangerous sexual predatory to justice.”

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Reporter for the Shropshire Star covering Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas.

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