PAA reaction to conviction of Leeds child abuser

The Professional Anglers’ Association (PAA) has reacted strongly to news of the conviction and jailing of Leeds-based angling coach Paul Stead for a string of child abuse offences.

PAA Chairman Dr Bruno Broughton said: “We are aware that although Stead passed an accredited angling coaching course several years ago, before it was a course requirement to obtain a Criminal Records Bureau (now Disclosure & Debarring Service) check, he was allowed to operate without scrutiny of his record. This gave him his opportunity to commit his vile, unforgivable crimes. Whereas this checking procedure cannot totally eliminate the risk that someone with illegal intentions remains undetected, it does provide the best available safeguard that a coach is both competent and safe, especially when working with vulnerable adults, young people and children.”

Bruno added: “Through his disgusting actions, Stead has inadvertently highlighted the need for every coach to obtain the necessary checks, through the licensing procedures, for the assurance of his or her pupils, parents, carers, institutions and relevant organisations. The case underlines the wisdom of the PAA’s steadfast refusal to admit into its membership coaches who are unable to pass these licensing requirements.”

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