Bob Higgins victim praises investigators who helped bring paedophile football coach to justice

INVESTIGATORS who brought Bob Higgins to justice have been praised as Lee Smith said: ‘They have been fantastic.’

Saturday, 25th May 2019, 5:53 pm
Southampton youth coach Bob Higgins with Lee Smith in 1984.

Dedicated officers from Hampshire police’s historic sex abuse team tackled the ‘unique’ case – among the largest taken on by the force.

Builder Lee said: ‘They have been absolutely fantastic and supportive, they've been absolutely brilliant.

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‘They put their life and soul into this - they must have thousands upon thousands of evidence to go through to get it down to what they had to get the convictions - they’re very clever people.

‘They made a point: we will never be forgotten. The help will be there if needed.’

The case against Higgins grew when the NSPCC set up a helpline when the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire show reported on the football abuse scandal. There were nearly 90 referrals made to Hampshire police.

Officers took 176 witness statements, 56 video interviews spanning 48 hours of film and produced 225 exhibits along with 838 documents.

Higgins was convicted of one count in 2018 – and 45 at his retrial. He was cleared of five others.