Doncaster football coach who beat child sentenced to two years in prison at Court of Appeal

A Doncaster football coach convicted of beating a child has until 8pm this evening to hand himself in, after an appeal judge ruled his initial punishment of unpaid work was 'too lenient' and sentenced him to two years in prison instead
A Doncaster football coach convicted of beating a child has until 8pm this evening to hand himself in, after an appeal judge ruled his initial punishment of unpaid work was 'too lenient' and sentenced him to two years in prison instead

A Doncaster football coach convicted of beating a child has until 8pm this evening to hand himself in, after an appeal judge ruled his initial punishment of unpaid work was 'unduly lenient' and sentenced him to two years in prison instead.

During a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court in June, Recorder Richard Wright QC sentenced Colin Ford, 55, to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 250 hours of unpaid work for the charge of cruelty to a child.

Ford of Tenter Lane, Warmsworth denied the charge but a jury found him guilty, after hearing evidence which described how Ford would beat his child victim with his hands and a belt buckle.

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The BBC has reported how during a hearing at the Court of Appeal today, the country's top judge Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett overturned the initial sentence due his belief it was 'too lenient'. He sentenced Ford to two years in prison instead.

He said: "A custodial sentence was not only merited, but required, given the circumstances of this case.

"It follows, in our judgement, that the community punishment order imposed by the recorder was unduly lenient."

Ford, was not in court for the hearing, and has been given until 8pm tonight to report to Doncaster police station to start serving his sentence.

During Ford's June sentencing, Paul O'Shea, told the court that Ford's victim had described how his offending had impacted on his life first as a child, and then as an adult, through a victim personal statement.

He said: "He says the effect of that childhood experience has been immeasurable.

"Throughout his life he has been plagued by depression and anxiety."

He added: "He's never really been in a relationship with anyone because of various issues."

The court was told Ford's conviction was likely to impact on his amateur coaching career, which had seen him train people in both football and rugby in the Stainforth area of the town.

Ford, was found guilty of one charge of cruelty to a person aged under 16 between March 31, 1990 and March 31, 1997, following a three-day trial that concluded on June 15 this year.

The jury also acquitted him of one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm and of another of indecent assault on a male person.

All of the charges Ford was accused of relate to allegations made by the same person.