National gymnastics coach sentenced for sexual abuse of a child
Gymnastics coach Stuart Woods has been given an 11-year prison sentence after being convicted of sexual offences against children.
Posted on 21 September 2021
Woods, aged 34, of Wellington Road, Sandhurst, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday, 17 September by Judge Edward Burgess QC, who told him he had done “profound damage” to his victims, reported the Bracknell News.
Woods was found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child and three counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child, said Thames Valley Police.
He will serve half of the sentence in jail and the other half on licence. He has been given a 20 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and a restraining order was put in place to protect his victims.
The judge said he had groomed vulnerable children who were suffering from social isolation and low self-esteem, feeding his own “insecure narcissistic ego”, emotionally threatening and blackmailing one child.
Head of Leigh Day abuse team Alison Millar said:
“The judge’s reported remarks reveal Woods’ abuse to be typical of the kind of behaviour that our clients describe to us. His obsession with his prey, singling them out to create a dependence on him is something that survivors of abuse commonly speak of. Their courage in speaking out has made his terrible offences public. His sentencing will help his survivors face the future.”