A swimming coach is starting an eight-year jail sentence after an "utterly depraved" and "manipulative" series of sexual attacks on teenage boys.

Michael Drew, of Copperfields, Laindon admitted ten counts of indecent assault spanning 25 years while he worked in the position of trust. He had pleaded not guilty to six other sex offences which were allowed to remain on file.

Drew, 55, had become the president of the British Swimming Coaches' Association.

Prosecutor Colin Hart told Snaresbrook Crown Court the ten charges involved five boys, aged 13 to 15, who were now adults. His assaults began in the late 1960s and continued through to 1996. In each case, under the veil of increasing their swimming prowess, he had repeatedly abused and fondled them.

Mr Hart described the "gross breach of trust" by Drew, who was held in high regard by swimmers on the many youth squads he coached.

The loyalty of his charges allowed him to continue his perverted crimes not only at the swimming pools, but at his own home and on one occasion in a hotel room.

Drew was arrested after complaints by his fifth victim in December 1999. Drew's defence barrister Richard Carey-Hughes claimed his client was not a predatory paedophile.

Drew was given seven concurrent and consecutive sentences - the shortest 12 months the longest four years - and will be placed on the sex offenders' register.

Jailed - swim coach Michael Drew

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