Golfer Gavin Samuels jailed for rape and sexual assaults

image sourceBedfordshire Police
image captionGavin Samuels was described by a judge as "predatory and manipulative"

A former professional golfer who raped a teenage girl and sexually assaulted two others has been jailed.

Gavin Samuels, 26, was convicted after two trials at Luton Crown Court.

Sentencing Samuels on Friday Judge Lynn Tayton QC described him as "predatory and manipulative".

Samuels, the 2011 winner of the Faldo Series Grand Final and who coached two of the victims at a Bedfordshire golf club, was jailed for 14 and a half years.

Samuels, of Melfort Drive, Linslade, near Leighton Buzzard, was convicted of four counts of rape and six charges of various sexual assaults on two girls aged under 16.

image sourcesbna
image captionGavin Samuels (right) is a previous winner of the Faldo Series Grand Final, named after Nick Faldo (left)

Judge Tayton QC said: "I have been told that golf was your life but you were not deterred that you could lose your career. You were in a position of trust.

"There is evidence of a long history of your interest in young girls which manifested itself when you were 15 and continued until you were reported to police," said the judge.

'Ruin his career'

The offences were committed between 2006 and 2014.

The first victim was about 12 when the abuse began and he was aged between 15 and 16 years.

She was 13 when he first raped her.

The two other victims were aged between 14 and 16.

He urged the girls not to tell anyone, saying it would ruin his career.

Sasha Bailey, defending, said before the sentence was passed: "Golf has been a major part of his life and career. He knows he is going to receive a lengthy sentence."

Det Insp Grant Maxted said after the case: "Samuels took advantage of the youth and naivety of his victims in a bid to sexually abuse them.

"He gave them gifts and items such as cigarettes in exchange for attention and sexual acts, as well as bombarding them with inappropriate messages."

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