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Tuesday, November 2, 1999 Published at 20:58 GMT


UK

Football boss denies child abuse

David Jones (right) pictured with Saints captain Jason Dodd last season

Southampton Football Club manager Dave Jones has denied 10 charges of child abuse dating back to the 1980s when he was employed as a care worker in a children's home.

The former Everton defender and father-of-four pleaded not guilty to all counts of indecent assault and child cruelty when he appeared before Liverpool City Magistrates Court.

The allegations against the 43-year-old football boss, who lives with his wife and family in Chilworth, Hampshire, date from February 1987 to May 1990.

Jones has been charged with four counts of indecent assault against two boys aged 16 or under.

Further counts

He faces six further counts alleging he assaulted, ill treated, abandoned or exposed three boys in a manner likely to cause them unnecessary suffering or injury to health.

The Southampton manager, wearing a black suit, white shirt and red tie, listened intently during the 20-minute hearing.

An order made by stipendiary magistrate Paul Firth preventing the home where Jones was employed from being identified.

The defendant was granted bail on condition that he did not approach prosecution witnesses or staff past and present from the Merseyside home.

Adjourned

The case was adjourned until 13 December for committal to Crown Court. Reporting restrictions were not lifted.

Jones was arrested in June this year when he voluntarily attended Liverpool's Wavertree Road police station.

He was charged in connection with Operation Care - a long-running investigation into allegations of child abuse at children's homes in the region.

The soccer manager arrived at the court accompanied by family and friends in a police van.

Escort

He was given an escort by Merseyside officers into the court building.

A handful of demonstrators wielding anti-Operation Care placards lined the entrance.

Jones, who was born in Liverpool, made his debut as a player for Everton in 1976 but his career was cut short by a knee injury.

He returned to football as assistant manager and coach at Morecambe, eventually being appointed manager of Stockport County.

He moved to Southampton in 1997 and earlier this year helped the team ensure Premiership survival by beating Everton 2-0 at The Dell in the last game of the season.





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