Gym coach sentenced for sex offences

Martin O'Hara. Photo by Sussex Police
Martin O'Hara. Photo by Sussex Police

A gymnastics coach has been sentenced over sexual offences against young girls in West Sussex.

Sussex Police said Martin O’Hara, 50, of Medmerry Hill, Brighton, now unemployed, was sentenced to a total six years imprisonment at Brighton Crown Court for sexually assaulting two teenage girls in West Sussex, while working as a freelance gymnastics coach.

He had been convicted at the same court on October 23 after a ten-day trial, of eight indecent assaults, to which he had pleaded not guilty.

Police said six were offences of indecent assault on a girl then aged under 16 at Horsham.

Two were of indecent assault on another girl then aged under 14 at a Horsham district village.

The jury was unable to agree on a verdict for a separate charge of sexual activity with another girl then aged under 16 at Horsham and O’Hara was found not guilty of that charge.

The charges, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, followed an investigation by West Sussex child protection detectives.

Detective Constable Nathalie Bundy of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; “The victims gave evidence in court and we admire both their readiness to do so and the way in which they so clearly described what had happened to them.

“Anyone who has information or concerns about sexual offending, whether against them or against others, can contact police at any time via 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101 and arranging to speak to specially trained detectives in confidence.”

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