Handyman charged with sex assault on England footballer's son

Last updated at 12:04 05 October 2007

An England footballer has been left stunned after his young son said a family friend abused him.

The millionaire Premiership player was said to be "terribly upset" when the boy told him he had been assaulted by a handyman who carrying out work for the star's wife at her London home.

A 63-year-old man has been charged with sexual assault on a youth after the child was taken to a police station in the capital and had to relive the alleged ordeal in a special video suite.

Trained detectives from the Scotland Yard's Child Abuse Investigation Command, known as SCD5, were used to coax a statement from the boy, who is under the age of 13, The Sun has reported.

The suspect, who was charged this week, was charged with sexual assault on a youth and is due to appear before magistrates later this month.

A spokesman for the footballer, who cannot be named to protect the boy's identity, said: "He was not at home when this thing happened and naturally all he can think about is his little boy.

"He is a strong believer in the law and wants justice to be done and seen to be done. "The man they have arrested was trusted by the family - they have known him for a long time."

A friend of the player told The Sun: "This man has been a confidant of the family for years. He was trusted implicitly.

"Now the family feel disgusted beyond comprehension."

The suspect was arrested in March and released on bail while inquiries continued.

However, when he answered his bail at a police station this week, he was charged with the sex offence.

The suspect was not at home yesterday but a woman who answered the door said: "I don't expect to see him for a week or so."

A South Wales Police spokesman said: "We can confirm that a 63-year-old man was arrested in Cardiff and charged in connection with an offence in the London area."

She added: "It is being dealt with by the Metropolitan Police."

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