Paul Hodgkinson secures Not Guilty verdicts in footballer sex offences trial

March 1, 2017

Paul Hodgkinson from Exchange Chambers has successfully defended a former League One footballer accused of grooming a 14-year-old girl into performing a sex act in his car.

Former Oldham Athletic midfielder Jack Tuohy, 20, was found not guilty of a string of sex offences at Manchester Crown Court.

He had first met the “football-mad” complainant at a schools tournament hosted by the English Football League One club in 2015, the court was told.

The Crown alleged Tuohy went on to groom the youngster, who sent him a topless selfie photograph, through social media, before she performed a sex act on him in his Seat Ibiza car parked in a secluded location in Oldham.

Paul Hodgkinson, defending, told the court the Crown’s portrayal of his client as a “manipulative” individual who preyed on a “starstruck” besotted schoolgirl was “nonsense”.

He said Tuohy was “not some over-privileged, arrogant overpaid footballer driving around in his Lamborghini” but someone who had played football every spare second of his life and had been with Oldham Athletic since the age of 13.

He said he was not “a party animal” but someone on modest wages at Oldham, when the alleged offences were said to have taken place, who had to observe 10pm curfews.

Tuohy was cleared of two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child, two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of meeting with a child following sexual grooming.

In a statement on behalf of the Tuohy family released after the verdicts, Jeremy Moore, of Carter Moore Solicitors, said: “Jack always maintained his innocence on these very serious allegations and is delighted that the jury came to the only sensible verdicts in this case.

“His life has been on hold for 18 months during which time he has been under the most severe stress.

“The family would now ask that they be left alone so that Jack can resume his very promising career.

“The family would like to thank his legal team at Carter Moore Solicitors and Paul Hodgkinson of counsel for their amazing work in proving Jack’s innocence.”