South London football coach jailed for sexually assaulting seven teenage boys

A self-appointed football coach, who abused his position by sexually assaulting seven teenage boys, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Emmanuel Igwebuike, 35, of no fixed address, has also been given a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be on the Sex Offences Register for life. 

The Inner London Crown Court sentenced Igwebuike to 15 years’ imprisonment on 9 September 2022.

His seven male victims were aged between 14 and 18 years at the time of the offences, which took place between June 2019 and April 2021.

He was found guilty of 22 counts of sexual assault at the same court on 8 April following a five-week trial. 

The offences were committed at various locations including former home addresses of Igwebuike in Lambeth and Putney and included a hotel in Birmingham.

At the time of the attacks, Igwebuike was acting in a self-appointed role as a football coach in his own ‘Jesus Mary Football Academy’ based in Stockwell and Putney.

According to the Metropolitan Police, Igwebuike managed to build a trusting relationship with the boys with promises to furthering their football careers and providing them with football opportunities.

They added that he targeted boys at a local church and other boys came into the football academy through word of mouth or after seeing them train in the local parks.

Igwebuike was first arrested by officers from the Complex Investigations Team, Central Specialist Crime Command on 30 June 2021 and initially charged with offences against three victims.

Detective Constable Elaine Hutton, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “These offences committed by Igwebuike are of an extremely serious nature. They have had a significant impact on the life of the young victims and especially their families who trusted him and were subject to his manipulation. 

“I would like to thank them all for their bravery during this investigation.

“We are keen to establish whether there are other victims of Igwebuike who have yet to come forward. Anyone who believes they were a victim of Igwebuike is asked to contact police.

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