In a story that broke right here in Brisbane yesterday, we have a sobering object lesson on why sporting clubs directors and officials MUST take their role in protecting their children constituents more seriously.
In this devious and calculated breach of this particular coaches responsibility to his young players, we see how doing a standard “Working With Children” (Blue Card in QLD) check is woefully inadequate to at least perform basic criminal background screening on overseas immigrants.
The case was reported by Vanda Carson of the Courier Mail:
A SOCCER coach from a club in Brisbane has been sentenced to three years jail for tricking teenage boys into sexting him naked selfies, some containing sex acts, via the social network Snapchat.
Stephen Gunn, now 24, who is on a working visa from Edinburgh Scotland, admitted he posed as a sexy teen called Sarah to lure his victims into sending him the selfies over 18 months.
Gunn also used messaging app Kik to send child porn images to an American teen who told him they were in “grade ten” at a US school.
In the District Court in Brisbane this morning before Judge Julie Ryrie, Gunn pleaded guilty to 31 charges including nine counts of procuring sexual acts by false pretence, seven counts of indecent treatment of children under 16 and six counts of making child porn.
His victims were aged between 14 and 17 and were members of the soccer club entrusted to Gunns care by their parents.
Crown prosecutor James Marxson told the court that Gunn showed “a certain level of premeditation and planning” by “initiating” and “promoting” the sexual exchanges via Snapchat and manipulating the victims to send him naked selfies.
Gunn, who lived on-site at the club, was busted after he was sacked by the soccer club in mid-2015.
When he returned his work laptop to the club, the club secretary found child porn images and reported it to police.
Days later police found a trove of more than 446 child porn images and 11 videos on his six computer devices and USBs including four considered of the “worst category” portraying serious child abuse.
Gunn’s work visa was cancelled and he has been in immigration detention since December 17, 2015. He also served eight months in Arthur Gorrie prison on remand. He will be deported after he serves about nine months in prison.
He faced a maximum sentence of 15 years for the most serious charge.
Anyone with influence in sports clubs are urged to consider the importance of doing proper police background checks on coaches AND parents who are, or will be involved with the clubs children, whom the parents have trustingly put in their care.
With volunteer Police Checks online only costing $24 from our company, it’s hard to see any grounds for excuse in not taking this precautionary step in every case. Go to the Police Checks website here.