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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Badminton coach jailed for abuse
Glasgow High Court
Caldwell was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow
A badminton coach has been jailed for four years for a string of sexual offences against six former pupils.

Matthew Caldwell, 60, from Ayrshire, was found guilty last month of eight charges of abuse against young boys he was training for the national team.

The judge at the High Court in Glasgow told Caldwell on Monday that he was a "high risk" to young boys.

He ordered that when Caldwell is released, he should be supervised in the community for a further two years.

A jury found Caldwell guilty following a six-day trial at the High Court in Kilmarnock in February.

'Confused and scared'

The court heard that the abuse took place between September 1990 and October 2002.

Some of Caldwell's victims gave evidence during the trial.

One victim recalled how Caldwell attacked him during a fitness training session at Irvine beach.

Clearly you were an outstanding badminton coach and it is all the more unfortunate you chose to use that gift to prey on vulnerable young boys
Judge Lord Bracadale
He told the court: "I was so young I didn't properly understand what was going on... I was very confused and scared and felt I couldn't do anything about it. All I wanted to do was get better at badminton."

The court also heard how Caldwell, of Gilmour Street, Stewarton, Ayrshire, would blackmail the boys to ensure they would not tell anyone about the abuse.

Some of his victims said he gave them money and threatened to circulate videos of their torment.

Caldwell's defence counsel, Isobel Walker, said of her client: "He was abused himself as a young boy and had a warped idea when he was put in a position of trust with these young boys."

Judge Lord Bracadale said as he sentenced the father-of-three: "Clearly you were an outstanding badminton coach. It is all the more unfortunate you chose to use that gift to prey on vulnerable young boys."

Caldwell was also placed on the sex offenders' register.

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