‘Inappropriate games’

2019-06-07 15:00


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A mother's feelings of appreciation towards her little boy’s guidance counsellor changed to concern when she heard about the “games” they played during their sessions together.

“Monster tap” was allegedly where the boy and Darren Goddard were allowed to touch each other. “The tickle game” was where they were allowed to tickle each other and “dog rescue” was when Goddard went down on his elbows and knees and panted and barked like a dog and the boy then copied him.

This was the evidence given on Thursday by the mother of one of the boys who Goddard allegedly sexually assaulted and raped. She testified before Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Kate Pillay and her assessor advocate Hawa Dhoda.

The mother said that Goddard counselled her son in 2015 when he was in Grade R and then in Grade 1.

This was because she had been told by Goddard that her son was impulsive and “attention seeking”. The boy did not make any progress the first year and Goddard suggested that medication was something to look at the following year.

In February, the boy’s doctor put him on Ritalin, a stimulant used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, his class teacher was not told because Goddard wanted an unbiased opinion from her on whether or not she could see any changes in him.

The mother said Goddard told her the medication had no “remarkable effect” on her son. She said that at home, he was “impulsive” when playing with his siblings, but would complete his homework on time.

Goddard at some stage suggested she change the medication. However, her doctor refused.

The woman revealed that Goddard had been very supportive and she had appreciated his input.

On May 31, 2016, she met with him and her son’s teacher.

While the teacher reported that she had no problems with the child and he was “fourth best” in class, Goddard had said he was worried the boy would not reach his full potential.

“I started to talk to him [her son] about what he and Goddard did in their sessions because I couldn’t understand why Goddard was saying he is not performing to his full potential,” said the mother.

The child then told her about the games. While doing so, he “began to withdraw”. She stopped asking questions. He became tearful and just wanted her to hold him.

Later that day, she told the boy’s father about the conversation and they decided to meet with the headmaster the next day because they felt the games were “inappropriate” as they involved “physical touching”.

She said she sent the headmaster an e-mail saying she wanted Goddard to stop counselling her son and she and the boy’s father met with the headmaster on June 3. The parents raised their concerns to the headmaster. She said the headmaster promised to conduct his own investigations.

The boy’s father contacted the child protection unit for advice and was told to take the boy for a thorough check-up.

The doctor who examined the boy advised that a charge of rape should be opened.

At that stage, she didn’t know who had raped her son. On June 22, her son explained to her what Goddard had done to him. Goddard was arrested two days afterwards.

The woman will be cross-examined on Monday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  goddard trial

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