Fife martial arts instructor jailed for sexually abusing girls
A martial arts instructor who sexually abused girls in West Fife was jailed for nine years today.
Gary Lee Goodrum (38) was found guilty of eight charges of assault at the High Court last month.
The offences took place for years at the Gary Lee Martial Arts Academy in Dalgety Bay, as well as in the Hillend and Rosyth areas.
The trial was told that Goodrum was brought to justice after a 14-year-old girl accused him last year of sexually assaulting her by backing her up against a wall and grabbing her breasts.
Detectives who quizzed other former martial arts students uncovered allegations of a course of similar conduct going back to 1999.
In his closing speech, advocate depute Stephen McCloy highlighted evidence of Goodrum “grooming” vulnerable young girls into committing sexual acts with him by flattering and coercing them.
At the High Court in Aberdeen today, Goodrum was sentenced to nine years in prison and is registered as a sex offender for life.
The judge Lord Woolman said, “Between 1999 and 2016 you carried out a systematic campaign of sexual abuse against eight under-age girls.
” I call it a campaign, because your conduct followed a distinct pattern over those 17 years. Each victim was a pupil at your martial arts academy. Each of them was in some way vulnerable. They either had problems at home, or were lacking in confidence, or otherwise had difficult personal circumstances.
“You befriended them, gained their trust and then abused them. Accordingly, your behaviour involved both a degree of targeting, grooming and the abuse of a position of trust. You committed the offences when you were aged between 20 and 37. The victims were 14 and 15.
“It was clear as they gave their evidence that the victims found uncovering their memories painful and upsetting. I have since seen victim impact statements.
“One states that having to relive these events ‘was like an explosion hit’ her life. One says that she will never ‘fully recover from those feelings of uncleanliness, betrayal, confusion and fear’. Two state that your conduct led to them self-harming.”
Detective Inspector June Peebles, of Fife Division’s Public Protection Unit, said, “I want to commend the victims in this case for their bravery and continued co-operation throughout the investigation.
“Goodrum took advantage of a position of trust to abuse children and, thanks to the courage of the victims, he is unable to exploit this position again.