A SPORTS coach of a children’s rugby team has been found guilty of having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Robert Blore, aged 36, of Ash Grove, Latchford, was convicted after trial at Warrington Crown Court on Friday.

The jury found him guilty of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16.

Blore had denied having any sexual contact with his victim, but key evidence centred on a Super League match between St Helens and Hull FC at the Stobart Stadium on August 12 last year.

Sky footage showed the defendant, who has his own children, kissing the teenager and putting his hand on the inside of her leg.

When giving evidence he said: “There was no significance about it. I tapped her on the leg for a second, two at the most. I was celebrating a drop goal.”

But Maria Masselis, prosecuting, said Blore, who coaches at Latchford Albion, was besotted with the girl.

She said: “He was constantly hugging her, kissing her on the mouth and telling her that he loved her.”

The court heard he would call her ‘gorgeous’, ‘fit’ and ‘babe’.

The defendant groomed his victim by taking her to days out to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and paying for her to go to an N-Dubz gig.

On another occasion he kissed her in bushes at Blackbear park while walking his dog. He also added her on Facebook.

When on a family holiday to Turkey in June 2011 he gave the girl an iPad so he could message her while away.

The court heard that messages were later found on the notepad application on his iPhone sent to ‘sexy commander’.

Ms Masselis said it was a nickname for his victim and she called him ‘sexy soldier’ in return.

Blore then coerced his victim into having sex with him at his home address in July, when the court heard she cried, but the matter was not reported to police until August.

The court heard that the teenager initially responded to Blore’s affections before becoming uncomfortable when he pressed her for sex.

He was arrested on September 21 last year but denied all allegations and said ‘don’t be ridiculous, I’m CRB checked, I teach rugby to children’.

But Blore was convicted last Friday. He is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.