A revered Thai boxing instructor from Timperley has been jailed for six years after being found guilty of sexually abusing girls he trained at his gym in Altrincham.
Keith Nathan, 59, of Parkgate Road, was convicted of 17 counts of gross indecency and indecent assault after a trial at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
Known locally as Pele, Nathan was a Thai boxing instructor at a number of gyms in Trafford and Manchester and was locally renowned as a ‘god’ in the sport up until his arrest in 2015.
He took the virginity of a “star pupil” in his Ford Capri car when she was just 13 and then continued to have sex with her twice a week after he drove her home from lessons.
The woman told the court that in the 1980s the pair had sex inside the Capri, at a caravan he kept at a park and also at his home while he was laid up with his leg in plaster.
The victim, now in her 40s, was too embarrassed to report Nathan at the time believing she had been love with him – but went to police in 2015 after she married and gave birth to a daughter.
Detectives discovered the respected coach had used his gym in Altrincham as a ‘base’ to target other girls.
The victim, who can not be named for legal reasons, met Nathan when she was just 11 after she joined his gym, Pele’s, in Altrincham where Nathan was one of three instructors.
Judge Maurice Greene told Nathan: “You abused your position as a well-respected Thai Boxing coach. You were trusted by her parents, you took her to events and to training. It happened in her car, in her home, in a park – it happened on a regular basis.”
He has now been jailed for six years and put on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely. He was also subject to a sexual harm prevention order.
Detective Constable Vickie Burgess of GMP’s Public Protection Investigation Unit, said: “Despite projecting his most perverse and depraved actions on young girls, he somehow managed to keep his championship reputation in the martial arts world.
“This is due to the lengths he went to to keep his abuse undetected and the promises he made to those he preyed on – what we now know as child grooming.
“Between 1979 and 2003, while parading as a trustworthy coach, he terrorised the lives of his victims who have been so brave in coming forward and now, the only thing he has to think about behind bars is how he subjected them to this atrocious abuse.”
Additional reporting: Cavendish Press