Ex-Newcastle United footballer Derek Bell condemns 'predatory paedophile' coach who abused young players

Derek Bell.
Derek Bell.

Ex-Newcastle United footballer Derek Bell, who secured a conviction against George Ormond along with six other victims in 2002, has branded him a "predatory paedophile".

Bell waived his anonymity two years ago in the hope to encourage other players who had been abused to step forward.

Speaking after the case today Mr Bell said: "I waived my anonymity in November 2016 because I knew George Ormond was a predatory paedophile and that there must be more victims out there.

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"If one person had come forward I would have felt I had done my job; the fact that so many victims came forward, and he has now been found guilty of 36 offences over 24 years, shows just how many people were affected.

"The fact that a number of the victims came forward after November 2016 shows that difficult as it is, in the right circumstances, when people are ready, speaking out is very important and can encourage other people to deal with their trauma and bring sexual offenders to justice.

"It has been a long 16 months, with ups and downs, but the fact that we are here today makes it all worthwhile.

"With these verdicts, justice has been done, and I would like to thank Northumbria Police for their hard work and for conducting such a thorough investigation.

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"Today is for the people who found the strength to come forward and speak to the police, then give their evidence in court.

"Society is coming to understand more about the lifelong trauma which sexual abuse can cause, and the impact it has not only on the victims but on their families and friends.

"There is a greater appreciation now of the courage it takes for people to come forward and report it.

"This case shows again how vital safeguarding is, to protect children and young people from such offenders, not only in football, but all areas of life.

"It also shows how important it is for support to be in place for victims, and for people who do come forward."