A FORMER football coach has been jailed for three years for sexually abusing boys over several years.

Michael Morley, prosecuting, told York Crown Court that shortly after the issue of sexual misconduct by football coaches became a national issue, North Yorkshire Police received a tip-off about Martin Fisher, who taught at Scarborough Sixth Form College.

Three victims came forward. Reading from one of the trio’s personal statements, the barrister said Fisher “introduced demons into (the victim’s) life and he has been living with these demons for 30 years.

“The defendant was throwing darkness into the dreams of young men, he speaks of fractured lives and feeling of betrayal.”

The barrister said Fisher allowed boys to visit his house at all hours, including after midnight, gave them alcohol, showed them pornographic videos and allowed one to drive his car.

He abused two boys after they drank large glasses of spirits. Fisher gave one of the drunken boys a pill claiming it was a sleeping tablet.

He also carried out sexual “massages” on boys by falsely claiming that he was in training to be a physiotherapist and took indecent photos of them without their faces. He used the photos in a “game” in which boys would guess which boy was pictured.

Fisher, 63, of Ramsey Street, Scarborough, pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault committed in the 1980s and 1990s and seven charges of having indecent pictures of boys on his home computer when arrested earlier this year. In addition to the three-year prison term, he was put on the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order banning him from being with boys under 18 and curbing his use of the internet.

His barrister Taryn Turner said allegations about his conduct surfaced in 2004.

“This man has lived with the anxiety of a possible police prosecution for a number of years,” she said.

Although Fisher had had no formal training as a sports teacher, it was normal in the 1980s and 1990s for school teams to be managed by such people, she said.

Fisher was strongly motivated to change, she said.

Det Con Alison Morris, of North Yorkshire Police’s Non-recent Abuse Investigation Team, said: “At the time of the offences, Martin Fisher was in a position of trust and he abused that trust for his own sexual gratification.

“This is a clear case of grooming demonstrated by Fisher’s befriending of his victims and showering them with alcohol, cigarettes and access to a car.

“He made them feel beholden to him and unable to report the abuse that was taking place.

“His victims have showed great courage in coming forward and reporting the abuse to the police.

“Thankfully he has spared them the ordeal of giving evidence in court by pleading guilty to the charges and I now hope the outcome of this case allows them to put a distressing period of their lives behind them.”