Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 16:13 UK

Jail for sex abuse Olympic coach

Keith Burns (picture by Alan Lewis)
Keith Burns had denied abusing the girl

A former Irish Olympic coach has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment for sexually abusing a young girl he was training.

Keith Francis Burns, 64, of Silverhill, Enniskillen, had denied indecently assaulting the girl from 1994, when she was 13, until 2002.

However, last month he was convicted at Dungannon Magistrates Court of seven out of nine indecent assault charges.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register.

Burns was acquitted of two charges of abusing the girl when she was 12.

The former Olympic coach was secretly taped by the girl, now aged 25, and her parents in a bar where he confessed he was guilty of "four or five serious offences".

He admitted on tape he had done "things which should not have happened".

During his trial, he claimed he was "set up" and "ambushed" by the girl and her parents, and that he was "confused and stressed" when confronted by them.

Massage

He claimed his taped confession was a misunderstanding, and told the court he thought he was being accused of massaging a sports' injury, which was against coaching guidelines and protocols.

The court had heard he would measure her while she was nearly naked, allegedly to work out her "body fat".

Burns began measuring her bust and finally persuaded her to strip naked for him because he "admired the human form".

The court was told that he made sexual suggestions to her.



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