Brother of pervert Edinburgh football coach who died in prison to continue appeal against his sibling’s convictions

The brother of a football coach from Edinburgh who died days after being jailed for sexually abusing young boys has been given permission to continue appealing his relative’s convictions.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 4:45 pm

David Lothian has instructed lawyers to try to clear his sibling William’s convictions for indecently assaulting young players while head coach of a boys’ soccer club in Edinburgh between 1997 and 2003.

William Lothian was given a 45 month jail term after a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in May 2021. Jurors heard how he preyed on his victims, who were aged between 11 and 14, between 1997 and 2003.

However, he died just days after he began his jail term at HMP Saughton.

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William Lothian was given a 45 month jail term after a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in May 2021.
William Lothian was given a 45 month jail term after a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in May 2021.

Lawyers for Lothian believed he had suffered a miscarriage of justice and was wrongly convicted. On Thursday, defence solicitor advocate Ann Ogg asked judges Lord Carloway, Lord Pentland and Lord Malcolmfor permission for Lothian’s brother David to continue the appeal.

She said: “I have forwarded a copy of a will which shows that his brother David Lothian is the executor so I submit he has a legitimate interest in continuing with the appeal.

“I also forwarded a letter that had been sent to Mr William Lothian on May 11 indicating his intention to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

“Finally my lords I also have a letter from David Lothian confirming that he had spoken to the deceased before he died and it was the deceased’s intention to carry on with the appeal.”

Abuse became ‘the norm’

During proceedings, jurors heard there had been regular “inappropriate touching” during the weekly training sessions when the team practised at an Edinburgh school gym hall.

One man said the retired janitor would often “touch our private parts” and “sometimes put his finger up our bums in a joking manner”.

He added the abuse became “a norm at training” and that Lothian “made it out to be fun, like a game”.

Lothian also invited two players to stay over at his home when they were between ten and 12 and all three would drink beer and Bacardi in a converted attic.

One victim said: “We would then go down to his bedroom and lie on the floor. He would stick pornography on the TV and watch it.

“Bill would lie in the middle of us on the floor and he would rub our nipples. The alcohol made us feel tired.

“After watching the pornography he had his hands down my shorts. I was half asleep when he was doing this."

The witness said Lothian touched his privates and added: “We went to sleep and when we woke up it was as if nothing had happened.”

Another victim said he was abused during a stay at Lothian’s home following a Player of the Year presentation night when he was around 13.

He said Lothian, formerly of the Capital’s Muirhouse area, gave him beer to drink before climbing into bed and molesting him.

The man said: “I could feel his penis on my leg. His hand then travelled down towards my boxers.

“I shrugged him off and said ‘what are you doing?’ He said to me ‘it’s OK, don’t worry’.

“I jumped out of bed and I just lay on the floor with a pillow. It was freezing cold and I fell asleep.”

He woke hours later and “sneaked out of the house” while it was still dark.

Lothian denied all 14 allegations against him but was found guilty by a jury of all charges.

The appeal will be heard later this year.

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