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NZ: Teacher admits touching girls at pool (Canterbury)

Publish Date: 19 Aug 2011
Source: The Press
By: David Clarkson

A Christchurch music teacher has admitted indecently touching three schoolgirls in the lazy river at the Queen Elizabeth II Park pools complex.

Alistair Martin Sands, 53, initially told police the touching had been unintentional, but today he admitted five indecent-assault charges involving three girls when he appeared at a Christchurch District Court session at the Nga Hau e Wha Marae in Aranui.

Sands had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted suppression of his name and occupation. While on remand, he was forbidden to be alone with any child aged under 16 unless they were with a parent.

Judge Stephen Erber today revoked the suppression orders and the Rolleston man's name can now be published.

Police prosecutor Sergeant John Taylor said Sands was at the pools about 1pm on December 6 and went into the lazy river, where a man-made current takes swimmers around an oval-shaped pool.

The area was also being used by two groups totalling about 50 schoolchildren.

The three girls involved were aged between 13 and 15.

As Sands passed each girl he deliberately reached out and stroked the outside of their thighs.

He did this several times until the girls told their teacher and a lifeguard. Sands was removed from the pool and the police were called.

"The defendant denied the facts as outlined. He stated it had been a very busy day at the pool and there had been a lot of bumping into people, but none of this was deliberate," Taylor said.

The judge read Sands, a first offender, a first-strike warning under the three-strikes legislation. 

He remanded Sands on bail to a Crown sentencing session at the Rangiora Courthouse on November 25. He asked for victim-impact statements from the girls and a pre-sentence report that will cover Sands' suitability for home detention.


Copyright © 2011 Fairfax New Zealand Limited
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/5473935/Teacher-admits-touching-girls-at-pool