Ex-Celtic FC youth coach, 72, jailed for child sex abuse he claimed was 'a bit of fun' in Belfast
Sport

Ex-Celtic FC youth coach, 72, jailed for child sex abuse he claimed was 'a bit of fun' in Belfast

A FORMER Celtic FC youth coach has been sentenced to three years and nine months in prison for sexually abusing a boy in Belfast.

Jim McCafferty, 72, was found guilty of abusing the same teenage boy on numerous occassions over a three-year period between 2012 and 2015.

McCafferty, who worked for both Celtic and Hibernian over 20 years ago, is originally from Glasgow but had been living in Northern Ireland in recent years.

He was arrested in 2016 and initially pleaded not guilty to eight child sex charges committed when he was living in south Belfast.

However, the pensioner changed his plea to guilty on the morning his trial began at Belfast Crown Court in May 2018.

Advertisement

'A bit of fun'

Judge Patricia Smyth told McCafferty that what he had considered "a bit of fun" had significantly impacted his victim, who was aged between 14 and 16 during the abuse.

McCafferty will serve half of his sentence in custody and the remaining half on licence.

Judge Smyth said: "You abused trust placed in you by his family ... assaulting him in your home and his home. The impact on your victim and his family has been significant.

"There are other factors in the victim's life that had rendered him vulnerable."

Judge Smyth also told the court that McCafferty had only apologised to his victim because he had been "advised to" by his lawyers.

She added that McCafferty continued to regard his behaviour as having been "a bit of fun for the victim".

Advertisement

McCafferty, formerly of Raby Street in south Belfast, will remain on the sex offenders register for an "indefinite period" and has been banned from working with children in any capacity for life.