Putney-based Football Coach Jailed for Abusing Teenage Boys

Police believe there may be more victims yet to come forward

Emmanuel Igwebuike. Picture: Met Police

A 35-year-old man who sexually assaulted seven teenage boys has been jailed for 15 years.

Emmanuel Igwebuike was sentenced on Friday, 9 September at the Inner London Crown Court after being found guilty of 22 counts of sexual assault at the same court on Friday, 8 April 2022 following a five-week trial. He was also given a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will also be on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Some of the offences against boy aged between 14 and 18-years-old took place at his former home address in Putney as well as in Stockwell and a hotel in Birmingham.

The assaults took place between June 2019 and April 2021 when Igwebuike was acting in a self-appointed role as a football coach in his own ‘Jesus Mary Football Academy’. He was not affiliated to the English Football Association (FA) or any local football club.

The first allegations against him were made on Tuesday, 15 June 2021, with names of other potential witnesses and victims provided.

Igwebuike managed to build a trusting relationship with the boys with promises to furthering their football careers and providing them with football opportunities.

He targeted boys at a local church and other boys came into the football academy through word of mouth or after seeing them train in the local parks.

At the time of offences being committed, none of the boys knew of abuse to the others and thought they were the only ones being sexually assaulted.

Igwebuike was first arrested by officers from the Complex Investigation Team, Central Specialist Crime Command on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 and initially charged with offences against three victims. He was remanded in custody and later charged with offences relating to four further victims.

Detective Constable Elaine Hutton, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said, "These offences committed by Igwebuike are of an extremely serious nature. They have had a significant impact on the life of the young victims and especially their families who trusted him and were subject to his manipulation. I would like to thank them all for their bravery during this investigation.

“We are keen to establish whether there are other victims of Igwebuike who have yet to come forward. Anyone who believes they were a victim of Igwebuike is asked to contact police.”

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September 13, 2022