Leading karate expert hit by investigation into sex crime claims

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Leading karate expert knocked down by investigation into sex offense allegations: One of Britain’s oldest martial arts fighters, 77, faces police investigation into historical abuse allegations

  • Andrew Sherry, 77, is investigated by the police for alleged sexual offences
  • Was Chairman and Chief Instructor for Karate Union of Great Britain until March
  • Mr Sherry said the allegations were “malicious” and stemmed from “politics” in karate circles

One of Britain’s most prominent and respected figures in karate is under police investigation for alleged historic sex crimes involving multiple victims.

Andrew Sherry, 77, was the chairman and chief instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) until March when it was announced that he would be retiring for personal reasons.

A source known to Mr Sherry described the instructor and former European and National Champion as a ‘God’ of the discipline, adding: ‘The allegations have rocked the sport and have the potential to have the same impact. in the karate world as the recent football matches. sexual abuse scandal in that sport.’

But Sherry told the Daily Mail the allegations were “malicious” and arose because of “politics” in karate circles.

Andrew Sherry, 77, who was president and chief instructor of Britain's Karate Union until March, is under investigation for alleged historic sex offenses involving multiple victims

Andrew Sherry, 77, who was president and chief instructor of Britain’s Karate Union until March, is under investigation for alleged historic sex crimes involving multiple victims

Speaking from his bungalow, in West Derby, Liverpool, he said they were made by “multiple individuals” bent on damaging his reputation and that of karate.

Mr Sherry admitted to being questioned “voluntarily” by the police, but denied any wrongdoing. “I’ve never been arrested,” he said.

“There is an agenda that has to do with the politics of karate … people who hold a grudge against me and the organization.”

In 1966, Mr. Sherry became the first person in Britain to receive a black belt in Shotokan karate.

That same year, he won the first British All Style Championship, beating competitors from all British karate varieties.

In 1968 he became European champion in kumite – one of the three main areas of karate training alongside kata and kihon – and won the first four KUGB karate competitions between 1967 and 1970.

Mr. Sherry retired from competition in 1977 and began to focus on coaching.

In 1990, he led the KUGB to victory at the World Shotokan Karate Championships, a feat repeated the following year.

Mr Sherry, from West Derby, Liverpool, said the allegations were 'malicious' and arose because of 'politics' in karate circles

Mr Sherry, from West Derby, Liverpool, said the allegations were 'malicious' and arose because of 'politics' in karate circles

Mr Sherry, from West Derby, Liverpool, said the allegations were ‘malicious’ and arose because of ‘politics’ in karate circles

In 2007, the England squad won European and world titles under his leadership.

Mr Sherry became a ninth tier, or 9th dan, black belt in 2013, making him one of Britain’s top Shotokan karate practitioners.

Karate is currently enjoying a renewed interest due to the success of Netflix’s Cobra Kai – a TV episodic sequel to the 1980s Karate Kid movies.

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that a man from West Derby is under investigation by detectives in connection with allegations of historic sex crimes.

“The 77-year-old man volunteered for questioning and is under investigation pending further investigation.”

In March, an independent investigation into historical child sexual abuse in football between 1970 and 2005 found that the Football Association was “not doing enough to keep children safe.”

The scandal, which enveloped scouts and coaches in clubs from Celtic to Bournemouth, unfolded after former Crewe player Andy Woodward went public over sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of coach Barry Bennell.

Bennell is now serving a 34-year sentence for abusing boys between 1979 and 1991 in Crewe and Manchester City.

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