Brighton gymnastics coach found guilty of sexually assaulting three girls

Posted On 24 Oct 2015 at 10:11 am

A gymnastics coach who lives in Brighton has been found guilty of sexually assaulting three girls.

Jobless Martin O’Hara, 50, of Medmerry Hill, Higher Bevendean, has been convicted of sexually assaulting the teenagers in West Sussex while working as a gymnastics coach from 1993 to 2001.

O’Hara was convicted of eight indecent assaults at Brighton Crown Court after a ten-day trial. He denied the offences.

Six of the indecent assaults involved a girl then aged 14 or 15 in Horsham from 1993 to 1995.

Two of the indecent assaults involved another girl then aged 12 or 13 at Southwater, Horsham, from 1995 to 1997.

Three of the six offences against the first girl were committed in a gym club and the other five offences were committed elsewhere in the Horsham area.

The jury was unable to agree on a verdict for a separate charge of sexual activity with another girl then aged  13 to 15 in the Horsham area from 2008 to 2011.

O’Hara was found not guilty of that charge.

He had been on court bail but yesterday (Friday 23 October) he was remanded in custody for sentencing on Friday 20 November.

The charges, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, followed an investigation by child protection detectives from Sussex Police.

Detective Constable Nathalie Bundy, from the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said: “The victims gave evidence in court and we admire both their readiness to do so and the way in which they so clearly described what had happened to them.

“Anyone who has information or concerns about sexual offending, whether against them or against others, can contact police at any time via 101 or and arrange to speak to specially trained detectives in confidence.”

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