Swimming coach accused in hospital

2010-03-02 00:00

THE Durban swimming coach accused of sexually molesting little girls failed to make an appearance in court after he was admitted to hospital with a serious heart condition.

The man (59), who runs an established swimming school for children in uMbilo, was arrested at a shopping centre on Friday, and was scheduled to make a brief appearance in the Durban Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The police advised the court that the accused, who cannot be named until he appears in court, was admitted to hospital after suffering from heart complications shortly after his arrest.

In 2009, parents laid charges of sexual assault against the man after noticing their toddlers imitating adult sexual behaviour while they were being bathed. On closer investigation, they discovered that the coach had allegedly touched the children inappropriately during their lessons.

Six cases were opened, but no arrests were made. Frustrated parents hired private investigator Mark Hardwick, who gathered evidence to help the police arrest the suspect.

It is believed that the accused taught children at pre-schools and schools in the greater Durban area.

He and his wife fetched the children and took them to a rented pool for the lessons. There are more than 160 children enrolled at his swimming school.

The children were taken to Bobbi Bear, an organisation that assists sexually abused children, for counselling.

The accused will appear in court once he has been discharged from hospital. The matter has been adjourned to Friday.

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