London, Dec 27 : An international karate champion has been convicted of child abuse for sending a 13-year-old girl nearly 5,000 text messages and telling her that he was ready to break up with his wife for her.

Liam O’Grady, 30, a World and European gold medallist who has taught hundreds of children at after-school clubs, collapsed in the dock as he was found guilty by a jury after a seven-day trial, the Daily Mail reported.

O'Grady, a father of two, was addicted to sending sex messages and told the girl their relationship was "only illegal if the law knew".

Over the course of their eight-month sexual relationship, he sent her 4,759 messages. He abused the girl in his house and in his car, the court heard.

The Karate Union of Great Britain, which has suspended O’Grady, said it would consider his situation after he is sentenced next month.


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