Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:30 UK

Olympic diver admits sex attacks

Brian Phelps
Phelps had worked as a trampoline and swimming coach in Poole

A former Olympic diver has pleaded guilty to 42 charges of indecent assault and indecency against three girls aged as young as six.

Brian Phelps, who took the bronze medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics aged 16, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court.

The married 63-year-old admitted charges, which relate to a period between 1976 and 1987.

Phelps, who also won Commonwealth golds in 1962 and 1966 and ran a gym in Poole, denied four charges of rape.

Phelps had worked as a trampoline and swimming coach but had retired to live in France.

He admitted 11 counts of indecent assault and eight charges of indecency against one girl when she was aged between six and 15.

He also pleaded guilty to 10 charges of indecent assault and eight charges of indecency against a second girl when she was aged between six and 14.

Brian Phelps (PA)
Phelps shot to fame by winning Olympic diving bronze in 1960

And he admitted four charges of indecent assault and one of indecency against a third girl when she was aged between nine and 12.

Julia Woodward, senior Dorset Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutor, said after the hearing: "This was a very serious case involving a number of victims whom were subject to numerous incidents of a sexual nature.

"Brian Phelps was in a position of trust towards these victims and abused that trust.

"Following an initial complaint stemming from just one victim, the extensive press coverage led to other victims coming forward.

"This enabled us to establish Phelps' full criminality."

Phelps also pleaded not guilty to one charge of attempted rape.

Andrew Houston, prosecuting, accepted this plea.

Judge Samuel Wiggs adjourned the case until 15 May for a pre-sentence report.

Phelps was remanded in custody and told he was likely to be placed on the sex offenders' register for life.


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