Football coach accused of rape and sexual assaults on boys says he was 'completely bamboozled' by 'jealous' allegations

A FOOTBALL coach said he was ‘completely bamboozled’ by allegations of rape and sexual assaults on boys and claimed one of the children was ‘jealous’ of him, a court heard.

By Steve Deeks
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 4:11 pm

Alfie Morel, 24, formerly of Tidcombe Green, Leigh Park, denies targeting three boys during an alleged grooming campaign in which he was accused of sending explicit pictures and videos of himself.

Morel admitted he ‘regretted’ opening up to the boys over his struggle with depression but denied there was ever any sexual contact.

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Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

In a police interview read out to the court, Morel claimed the alleged principal target became ‘jealous’ and called him ‘sly’. ‘I was spending more time coaching the other players and because they had improved (the boy) would message me,’ he told officers.

‘He was saying, “you like them more than me, you must hate me”.’

He added: ‘He kept on messaging and was being aggressive.’

Morel said the incident made him realise he needed to keep more distance between himself and the boys. ‘I was thinking I needed to take a step back,’ he said.

The defendant claimed the boy’s confrontation before his arrest had sent him into a ‘meltdown’. ‘I didn’t do the stuff he was accusing me of. I was thinking I can’t deal with it,’ he said.

Morel admitted to police he had ‘got myself in a position’ and was ‘really panicky’ after officers investigated but insisted he never did anything wrong.

After telling people he had not ‘got any friends of his own age’ Morel denied he had a sexual interest in boys.

Asked if he was attracted to children, Morel said: ‘No.’

Morel said he was ‘completely bamboozled and shocked’ by allegations made against him.

He claimed the alleged principal target was a source of help for him amid his mental health struggles. ‘I knew he was positive and I needed some positivity. I completely regret it,’ he said.

Morel denied playing ‘truth or dare’ and trying to ‘bribe’ the boys with gifts or offering £10 to £15 for a sex act to be performed on him.

He said: ‘I have never ever taken part in any sexual activity with (the boy).’

Morel, who was flagged by Hampshire FA over safeguarding issues relating to social media contact with players, said: ‘I put myself in a vulnerable position. I was stupid.’

He branded the allegations as ‘completely false’ and ‘malicious’.

Morel, who has been remanded in custody, faces nine charges including rape, attempted rape, two counts of sexual communication with a child, three counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, causing or inciting a child into sexual activity, and engaging in sexual activity of a child.

He denies all the charges.

(Proceeding)

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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