Statement : A Sherry Sentencing

The former chairman and chief instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain, Andy Sherry, appeared before Liverpool Crown Court today and was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years. He had previously been convicted on 22nd March 2024 of five sex offences (four counts of sexual assault on a man in 2011/12 and one count of indecent assault on a child under 16 years of age in the mid 1980s).

The KUGB wishes to express its heartfelt sympathy for the victims of Mr Sherry and apologises unreservedly to them. His offending was an abuse of his position of authority and a breach of the trust placed in him by his students, their parents and indeed the whole membership of the organisation. The sentence passed by the court reflects the seriousness of the matter and we hope achieves the justice the victims deserve. We would like to publicly commend the victims’ courage in speaking out and their bravery in testifying in a contested trial providing the evidence which led to his conviction. Their reporting of these crimes and the manipulative behaviour behind them will help to ensure that abuse of this nature is less likely to happen in the future. No one should ever have experienced the abuse they did and we stand firmly with them.

Throughout the legal proceedings our duties of confidentiality when dealing with sensitive disclosures of information from Merseyside Police and the local authority designated officer meant that we have not previously been able to make public statements about the case. We appreciate and understand the sense of frustration that this necessity has caused amongst our members and the wider community. Now that the legal process in the Crown Court has concluded we would like to address this matter with the utmost sincerity and clarity. The KUGB utterly condemns any forms of misconduct or abuse. We have been shocked by the case which has ridden roughshod over our core values of trust, respect, and integrity which are of paramount importance to us all.

We are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for people of all ages to enhance their lives through the practice of karate-do. Significant steps have been taken to develop the organisation’s safeguarding provision throughout the period of the investigation of this case. These have included appointing a welfare officer, establishing a safeguarding committee, implementing new and rigorous safeguarding procedures and introducing regular comprehensive safeguarding training for all our instructors. As an organisation built on principles of respect and compassion we will continue to take proactive steps to ensure offending of this nature never happens again and continue to foster an open culture where concerns can be raised without fear or hesitation. An internal review of the Sherry case is already underway and a wider assessment of the issues raised will also take place as soon as practicable. The organisation remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards of conduct, integrity and professionalism and will continually strive to maintain this.

We recognise that accountability and justice are essential for healing and progress. The damage caused by this case goes beyond the suffering of the immediate victims and may have indirectly impacted on others in different ways. The KUGB has a designated welfare officer to whom concerns can be confidentially shared and support sought by anyone affected by the case safeguarding@kugb.org. Confidential support and guidance can also be accessed online on the government gateway website at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-victims-of-sexual-violence-and-abuse

Let us unite as a community, learn from this experience and emerge stronger, more resilient, and more committed than ever to the values that define us. Karate-do can have such a positive impact on people’s physical and mental health and overall wellbeing. However, nothing matters more than making sure it is a safe activity for everyone which is why we will continue to keep the safeguarding of children and adults at the heart of everything we do.

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