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Football legend Baxter jailed for 11 years

Quinton Wendell "Woolly" Baxter (File photograph)

Retired Bermuda footballer and coach Quinton Wendell Baxter told police he had sexually abused “at least eight young men” the Supreme Court heard yesterday as he was jailed for 11 years.

Baxter was sentenced for a string of historic sex offences against three young boys only yesterday, but detectives told The Royal Gazette they would investigate any further allegations against him.

The 58-year-old, who is more commonly known by Wendell or his nickname “Woolly”, broke down in tears as he apologised for his crimes, which took place in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I stand here today and take full responsibility for everything that happened to them,” he said. “Their victim impact statements really showed me how they feel.

“To Bermuda, I apologise for everything I have done.”

Puisne Justice Carlisle Greaves acknowledged that Baxter had shown “genuine remorse” for his “dastardly acts against these children”.

But he said: “The credit for your guilty pleas, that remorse and the long time that has passed since these offences does not allow me to fall to a sentence below the level recommended by the prosecution.”

Mr Justice Greaves added: “These types of cases sap the confidence of a community; it causes everyone to view others with suspicion.

“One becomes fearful of letting a child go about their business. As a result, very often cases like this cause us to raise our children like prisoners.

“I sincerely hope the victims in this case find some healing and that this story helps others in the community who are victims to come forward to eliminate from our society those who will exploit our children.

“I also hope this case opens the eyes of the exploiters, so they will learn that their actions will catch up with them.”

In December 2016, Baxter handed himself in to police and confessed to repeatedly sexually abusing a young boy between 1976 and 1979.

Prosecutor Cindy Clarke told the Supreme Court: “He further disclosed that he has sexually exploited at least eight young males during the period 1976 to 1986, but he did not disclose their identities.”

In March, he pleaded guilty to a total of 18 separate charges of sexual abuse relating to three young boys.

The first seven counts on the indictment, which included indecent assault, committing indecent acts and gross indecency, related to the first young victim and took place between 1973 and 1983.

The next six counts included indecent assault, committing indecent acts, attempted buggery and buggery and related to a second victim between 1978 and 1983. The final five counts included indecent assault and committing indecent acts on a third victim between 1981 and 1986.

Baxter was charged with old offences, many of which have been updated, and which existed at the time he committed the crimes.

Under the legislation that existed at the time, the maximum sentence for indecent assault was five years’ imprisonment, committing indecent acts was two years, gross indecency was two years, attempted buggery was five years and buggery was ten years. After yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Detective Inspector Mark Clarke, who heads the Vulnerable Persons Unit, said: “Cases like this are always sad and we are grateful to the courts for their handling of this case.

“We will hear from anyone who wants to come forward and report sexual abuse and we would encourage them to do so.

“If anyone wants to come forward in relation to this defendant, it will be treated as a separate investigation.”

Baxter led North Village to the Triple Crown of league, Friendship Trophy and FA Cup when the side dominated in the late Seventies and went on to become a respected coach.

His lawyer, Elizabeth Christopher, told the Supreme Court: “His last offence occurred when he was 25 and since that time he has avoided committing any offences.”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.