A 57-year-old tennis instructor has lost a bid to overturn a ban on working with children after repeatedly calling a 13-year-old girl.
A 57-year-old tennis instructor has lost a bid to overturn a ban on working with children after repeatedly calling a 13-year-old girl.

Tennis coach banned for harassing young girl

A tennis coach who repeatedly called and sent texts to a 13-year-old girl he was instructing - and with whom he allegedly had sexual conversations - has been barred from working with children.

The 57-year-old man - identified only as GJC in South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal documents - has lost an appeal to have the ban overturned.

That is despite the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrawing criminal charges against the man over the incidents.

A judgment recently published by the tribunal said the Adelaide tennis instructor sent the girl numerous text messages, repeatedly called her and had two lengthy phone conversations on July 3, 2017.

The girl was "distressed" by what happened and her family reported it to police.

According to the judgment, police statements from the girl showed she said the conversations were about "matters of a sexual nature".

He denied the allegation and said he contacted the girl because he believed she had stolen $200 from his tennis bag.

The Department of Human Services' central assessment unit accepted the girl's version of events and subsequently found he posed an unacceptable risk to children.

The man's lawyer argued to the tribunal that "second hand hearsay" - the police report - should not be used to assess whether he posed a risk to children.

The department submitted that "unacceptable risk" was different to criminal and legal standards of guilt and should not be treated the same way.

Tribunal senior member Jacqui Rugless found that, regardless of the content of the phone calls, it was "clear" the man had "no regret or insight into the harm that he may have caused to the child by his admitted behaviour of texting and persistently telephoning her".

She said was not likely GJC would "cause harm to a child in the future", however, there was a "possibility".

" … the potential consequences to children would be serious if the perceived risk eventuated," she said.

caleb.bond@news.com.au

 

Originally published as Tennis coach banned for harassing young girl


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