THE jury have been discharged after failing to reach verdicts in the case of a former sports coach who is accused of grooming and abusing a teenaged girl who he trained.

Brian Furneaux is likely to face a retrial at Exeter Crown Court next year after a jury were deadlocked at the end of a two week trial. 

Furneaux, aged 65, of Ipplepen, near Newton Abbot, denied nine counts of indecent assault and two of rape, all against the same complainant when she was aged 14 to 16.

The prosecution said he groomed as he coached her from the age of 13 and went on to have a sexual relationship when she was 15, during which he forced her to take part in sex acts against her will on two occasions.

He denied any inappropriate sexual contact and said messages and cards he sent her were in response to pressure from her to make their innocent relationship physical. 

Judge Anna Richardson discharged the jury after they had been deliberating for more than a day and told her they would not be able to agree on even majority verdicts regardless of how long they were given.

Miss Emily Cook, prosecuting, said she expects to apply for a retrial, which will take place next summer. Furneaux was released on bail.