Northern Ireland

Ex-Celtic coach Jim McCafferty pleads guilty to child sex abuse

Laganside Courts
Image caption Jim McCafferty was sentenced at Laganside Courts

A former youth coach and kit man involved in Scottish and Irish football has admitted abuse charges against him just as his trial was due to start.

Jim McCafferty, 72, had previously worked at Hibernian, Falkirk, and Celtic more than 20 years ago.

He was accused of a series of sexual offences against the same boy over a three-year period before December 2015.

McCafferty previously pleaded "not guilty" but changed his plea on Monday at Laganside Courts in Belfast.

Worked at Hibernian

Defence barrister Patrick Taylor asked the court to put the eight charges to him again.

He replied, "Guilty, your honour" to the first charge and accepted the seven other charges.

Dressed in grey trousers and a grey top, he entered the court with the aid of a walking frame.

McCafferty, whose address was listed as Raby Street in south Belfast, was arrested in December 2016.

He previously lived in Glasgow and worked at Celtic and other Scottish clubs, including Hibernian, before moving to Northern Ireland in recent years.

He is not believed to have worked in football in Belfast in any capacity.

Although no details of the offences - or the defendant or complainant - emerged during today's brief hearing, McCafferty was arrested in December 2016 after giving an interview to a newspaper.

He is due to be sentenced next month.

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