England

Ex-Crewe Alexandra coach cleared of sexual abuse

Paul McCann Image copyright PA
Image caption Paul McCann was cleared of sexually abusing a teenage boy

A former Crewe Alexandra youth coach has been cleared of sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Paul McCann was found not guilty of four counts of indecent assault on Thursday at Chester Crown Court.

He was found not guilty of two counts of the same charge earlier in the week following the judge's direction.

The 57-year-old, of Great Sutton, Cheshire, had been accused of grooming and abusing the boy between November 1987 and November 1990.

The jury took one hour and 40 minutes to reach their verdicts.

Mr McCann had been accused of grooming and abusing the boy between November 1987 and November 1990.

He was alleged to have carried out the abuse on a trip abroad, then at his home in Crewe and after games at a local squash club.

Mr McCann told the jury he became a "surrogate father" to the youngster, who had a difficult home life, "spoiling" him by paying for holidays and taking him on football tours.

In police interviews, Mr McCann said he had offered to take the teenager on a skiing holiday because the family had fallen on hard times.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The jury at Chester Crown Court took under two hours to clear Paul McCann

The married father-of-two said it was "innocent".

"It never crossed my mind. I was like a friend of the family. I took a bit of pity, they looked like they needed help," he told the court.

Jurors saw him break down in tears while giving evidence as he said he felt "scared, angry, shocked" when police put the allegations to him.

Mr McCann said he had been clearing out his mother's house after her death when he found an envelope of press cuttings about his appearances in court.

"I knew she would see stuff, so I explained to my mother what was going on and reassured her. It upsets me because she passed away not knowing," he said.

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