Gym coach who taught Tower Hamlets youngsters facing jail for sexually assaulting girls

PUBLISHED: 10:56 19 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:47 19 March 2013

One of Britain’s top gymnastics coaches, who taught young pupils from Tower Hamlets schools, is facing jail for sexually abusing seven teenage girls over a 40-year period.

Bob Bellew, 66, who enjoyed a distinguished career and even served on committees planning the London Olympics, was the chief coach of Tower Hamlets Schools Gymnastics and Dance Display Team.

The former Community Coach of the Year taught at schools across the capital and had published books on the sport.

He was even awarded “The Order of the Smile” - a United Nations-recognised citation for “adults distinguished in their love, care and aid of children”.

But for decades the respected coach preyed on the girls he was tutoring, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard on Monday (March 18).

He admitted groping the girls, who were mostly aged between 13 and 14 although one was under 13, between September 18, 1970, and December 14, 2010.

Some of the assaults took place during trips abroad and during gymnastics classes.

Bellew admitted eight of 17 charges against him, involving six victims and stretching back more than 40 years.

He confessed to touching girls’ private parts and rubbing their thighs.

Bellew, of Jerningham Road, New Cross, admitted seven counts of indecent assault and one of sexual touching.

The charges he denies will be left to lie on file, and he will be sentenced for the eight offences he has admitted on April 11.

Judge Joanna Korner told Bellew she was considering imposing a jail term.

He was released on bail on the condition that he does not contact any of the victims.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 18:21

Police have found the body of a missing student with links to east London.

Yesterday, 16:14

The mayor of Tower Hamlets has voluntarily had a blood test for Aids in a council campaign for public awareness for people to take part in HIV Testing Week starting tomorrow.

Yesterday, 13:48

Campaigners have called for support ahead of a national unity demonstration against racism and fascism.

Yesterday, 11:45

Police are appealing for help in finding a vulnerable man who has been missing for more than a week.

Thu, 19:00

Tower Hamlets Council is to overhaul the way it awards grants to community and voluntary organisations (VCS) in the borough.

Thu, 14:41

Yobs have been banned by magistrates from going onto a housing estate in Whitechapel which has been plagued by drug addicts.

Thu, 11:49

Older people in Tower Hamlets are being trained in classical dance by the English National Ballet to commemorate a century since the end of the First World War.

Thu, 08:18

Police are looking for the driver of a suspicious vehicle which sped away as they approached and was a then in a hit-and-run incident in Spitalfields yesterday.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now