Pervert rugby coach scoured UK for children

Robert Eustace offered to buy 13-year-old a vape for sex during campaign of online grooming
Robert Eustace offered to buy 13-year-old a vape for sex during campaign of online grooming

A rugby coach who groomed teenage boys on social media and arranged to meet up with them for sex has been locked up for five-and-a-half years.

Robert Eustace preyed on vulnerable youngsters, offered them gifts and asked to meet up with them at hotels and woods for sexual encounters.

Eustace targeted boys in different parts on the country including Yorkshire.

The 54-year-old pervert was caught after the mother a 15-year-old boy from Wakefield saw explicit messages from Eustace on her son’s iPad in April 2017 and contacted police.

Indecent images of children were also found on Eustace’s mobile phone and other devices when he was arrested.

Leeds Crown Court heard the married father led a “fantasy double life” by contacting youngsters on social media and sending sexually explicit messages.

A total of 190 indecent child images were found on Eustace’s phone when he was arrested, 37 of which were category A, the most serious.

Eustace, of Sir Williams Close, Aylsham, Norfolk pleaded guilty to six sexual offences against three boys over a six-year period between 2011 and 2017.

However, Eustace only entered his pleas on the day one of the victims was brought to court to give video evidence prior to a trial.

Eustace was a member of a rugby club and coached a junior team. None of the offending is linked to anyone connected with the rugby club.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: “The aftermath once these matters came to light has caused a considerable amount of damage.

“Not only to the complainants, but collateral damage in so far as their families were concerned.

“Parents who had to pick up the pieces after the matters came to light are bound to be affected by what took place.

“The children became anxious, lost confidence.”