Former kick-boxing world champ Adam Beniston jailed for sex offences against teenage girls
A FORMER world kickboxing champion originally from Ashfield, who preyed on young girls, has been jailed for five years at Lincoln Crown Court.
Adam Beniston, who was named coach of the year in the Lincolnshire Sports Awards for his work with the Mablethorpe-based East Coast Martial Arts Academy, had previously admitted a string of sex offences against two 14-year-old schoolgirls.
Judge Sean Morris told him: “You have absolutely wrecked lives. That somebody who is in a position of trust should act in such a devious way is reprehensible.
“You started grooming them in order to satisfy your lust. You knew their ages.
“Young girls are vulnerable and need protection from their own emotions. As an instructor you should have known that. They were too young to know what they were doing and you were not.
“These offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
Beniston (27), of High Street, Mablethorpe, but who has recently been living on bail at an undisclosed address in Sutton, admitted 11 charges of sexual activity with a child relating to two different girls.
The offences occurred between July 2010 and November 2011.
He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from being involved in any work or recreational activity which brings him into contact with girls under 16.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that the offences had a devastating effect on both girls and their families.
Beniston befriended the first girl in June 2010 - initially making advances when he kissed her while they were star-gazing at the night sky.
He went on to have sex with her on as many as 30 occasions.
Soon after the teenager confided in her mum, police received a tip off about what was happening. They visited the girl and her mother but the pair concealed what was going on.
The girl’s father later learned of his daughter’s relationship with Beniston, but it was only several months afterwards that police were told.
Beniston was arrested but claimed the allegations were ‘fantasy’ and was released on bail.
He then hit on another 14-year-old girl, starting with a series of text messages and progressing to kissing.
The girl, worried she might have become pregnant, went to a school nurse. She subsequently turned on Beniston after discovering of his previous relationship with the other 14-year-old.
The court was told that the illicit relationships came at a time when Beniston was having difficulties with his long-term partner whom he started seeing when she was 16. She now has a 10-month-old baby by him.
Sarah Munro, defending, said “He was a world champion kick boxer and he coached many other world champions. He has done a lot of good work but has now lost everything.
“He acknowledges that what he has done was extremely foolish.”
Beniston moved from Mansfield to Lincolnshire three years ago and was crowned coach of the year at the 2011 Lincolnshire Sports Awards and was runner up in the overall sportsman of the year award. His prize was handed to him by BBC Sport presenter Dan Walker at a ceremony attended by top sporting stars and dignitaries.
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