SHAMED COACH CAGED Football coach Mark Ellis who sexually abused 10-year-old player in string of horrific attacks in South Lanarkshire jailed for five years.
Ellis preyed on the boy in 1991 and threatened to kill him if he ever spoke of the ordeal.
A SHAMED boys’ football coach has been jailed for five years for sexually abusing a 10-year-old young player – and threatening to kill him if he ever spoke about the ordeal.
Mark Ellis preyed on the boy during a string of attacks in 1991.
The 57 year-old had been running a football team and training school in South Lanarkshire at the time.
A jury heard how Ellis had also coached boys at Birmingham City.
His victim recalled how the pervert had threatened to kill him if he told anyone.
But, more than a decade later, he travelled nearly 300 miles to confront Ellis at his now home in the Midlands.
His abuser told him: “I’m sorry – I knew this day was coming.”
Ellis, now of Birmingham, was handed a five year jail-term after being found guilty of lewd and libidinous behaviour at the High Court in Glasgow.
Passing sentence yesterday judge Johanna Johnston QC told him: “You were trusted by his parents, you were treated as a friend of the family.
“You abused that trust in the most grave manner.”
The jury how the victim – now 37 – was football-daft as a child and went on to be coached by Ellis.
The pervert lived in Biggar, South Lanarkshire at the time.
The first attack occurred in the boy’s family home on Easter Sunday 1991 before he was abused at Ellis’ flat.
Prosecutor Shanti Maguire asked: “By the time it got to this stage, did you ever want to tell anyone?”
He replied: “No – this was because Mark threatened that he would have to kill the two of us if I told anyone.”
The boy was also attacked in changing rooms at a local sports club and in Ellis’ Land Rover.
The attacks ended later in 1991 when the victim said he had had “enough”.
He told the jury: “I remember saying ‘kill me if you want’. I remember looking at Mark… I really could not stand the sight of him by then.”
The victim was then “delighted” when he found out Ellis had moved out the area.
It was years later he confided in a friend what had happened.
He was said to have been “completely broken and distraught”.
In around 2005 – joined by family and friends – the victim travelled to England to confront his abuser at his home.
He recalled: “Mark said: ‘I am sorry’. He kept saying sorry, sorry.
“Mark also said: ‘I knew that this day was coming.’”
His mum also challenged Ellis stating: “You abused my son. You think you have ruined him, but you have not.”
It was not until June 2015 that Ellis finally appeared in court after the victim bravely went to police.
In her closing speech, Miss Maguire said Ellis was guilty of a “gross breach of trust”.
She added the victim had given a “a completely and utterly compelling” account of his ordeal.
The advocate depute said: “Mark Ellis was there to coach boys and help them in their lives.
“He was the man who took the boy to football, brought him back – and abused him.”
Defence counsel Louise Arrol said Ellis maintains his innocence and said he is “well aware there is no alternative to custody”.
A spokesman for NSPCC Scotland said: “Ellis exploited his position of trust to carry out horrifying attacks on a child in his care.
“The victim’s parents had every right to believe their son was in safe hands but instead Ellis used this relationship as cover for sickening sexual abuse.
“Ellis may have thought he had got away with his crimes but he is now rightly behind bars as a result of his victim’s bravery in coming forward.
“It is encouraging that victims of past abuse in football are now finding their voice knowing they will be listened to and supported.”