Swim coach Kyle Daniels tells sex abuse trial police officers laughed at him and called him 'disgusting paedo'

Key points:

  • Kyle Daniels said he was "trying to remain calm" after being arrested for child abuse offences
  • Daniels is accused of sexually abusing nine young girls
  • He told the court some police officers laughed at him, while another treated him respectfully

Sydney swimming coach Kyle Daniels has told a jury police officers laughed and called him a "disgusting paedo" after he was arrested over child abuse allegations.

The 22-year-old was today called to the witness box in the sixth week of his trial in the NSW District Court.

He told the jury he was "dumbfounded" and "scared" when he first learned of the allegations after his arrest in March 2019, which initially related to two girls before others came forward.

"I was just sitting there in disbelief, I just didn't know what was going on," he said today.

Mr Daniels said while he was in custody at Manly Police Station, he overheard derogatory remarks from officers behind a desk.

"I had heard them making remarks about me, calling me a disgusting paedo, laughing about what would happen to me in jail," he said.

"I was just trying to remain calm."

Mr Daniels has pleaded not guilty to 26 charges related to nine young girls he taught at the Mosman Swim Centre in 2018 and 2019.

The charges include multiple counts of sexual intercourse with a child.

A man walks into court
Nine young girls said Mr Daniels allegedly abused them during swimming lessons in Mosman.(AAP Image: Dean Lewins)

The court has heard pre-recorded video evidence from all of the young girls, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

They have variously told the court Mr Daniels touched their private parts either on or underneath their swimming costumes while in the pool.

The court has heard the parents of some complainants initially raised the possibility of wrongdoing after seeing media articles about allegations against Mr Daniels.

When the specifics of alleged inappropriate touching were put to him today, Mr Daniels said he had "definitely not" deliberately touched a student's private area.

He described one complainant, who was eight when she was taught by him, as "a fairly troublesome student".

"She wouldn't listen to instructions very well and she was unnecessarily argumentative with me," he said.

"Did you deliberately or intentionally touch her on the vagina?" Mr Daniels's barrister Les Nicholls asked.

"Definitely not," Mr Daniels replied.

Mr Daniels said he noticed a camera operator setting up outside his family's home before uniformed police and detectives arrived to arrest him.

"The male police officer arrested me and put my hands in the front and apologised," he said.

"He said, 'I'm sorry I've been told to do this'."

Mr Nicholls has previously complained about how his client was "paraded" in front of a camera from the police media unit.

Mr Daniels told the jury he was particularly thankful for how one constable treated him with respect during the process at the police station.

He wrote the officer a thank-you card which read: "Thank you for treating me like a human being, it meant the world to me. Kind regards, Kyle."

'Amalgamated' memories

Under cross examination by Crown Prosecutor Karl Prince, Mr Daniels denied that the possibility of "inadvertent inappropriate touching" was always in his mind.

He said he was conscious of it for several weeks after a complaint was first raised in mid-2018, after which he was counselled, but denied subsequently "slipping into bad habits".

"I would be careful to place my hands in appropriate positions when I was teaching," Mr Daniels told the court.

He was not able to recall teaching some of the girls and said when teaching swimming for an extended time, specific memories were "amalgamated" into one.

Mr Prince asked Mr Daniels why he was able to recall more detail about the student he called "troublesome".

"It's not just because you've heard her evidence and you're trying to tailor your evidence to what she said, is it?" the prosecutor asked.

"No," Mr Daniels replied.

Mr Nicholls has highlighted the multiple high-definition CCTV cameras that covered the pool and that the alleged abuse is said to have happened within metres of parents.

He also heavily criticised the conduct of the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Constable Emma Lay, and questioned her use of leading questions with the young girls.

The trial, before judge Kara Shead, continues.



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