An eight-year-old girl clutched a toy and made a pinky promise to tell the truth as she told a detective about ‘the man in swimming lessons’.
An eight-year-old girl clutched a toy and made a pinky promise to tell the truth as she told a detective about ‘the man in swimming lessons’.

Child gives evidence at swim coach's abuse trial

A young girl told a detective it felt "weird" and "really uncomfortable" when her swim teacher touched her vagina as he corrected her freestyle stroke.

She is among nine young girls who Kyle James Henk Daniels is accused of sexually abusing as he taught them to swim at Mosman Swim Centre on Sydney's north shore.

Mr Daniels, 22, has pleaded not guilty to 26 charges, including indecent assault, sexual touching and sexual intercourse with a child under 10.

The young girl, whose police interview was prerecorded last year and played to the jury on Thursday, clutched a toy as she told a detective that she understood what a lie was.

"It's something that isn't true and you're telling it to get out of something," she said before swearing a "pinky promise" that she would tell the truth.

"Do you know what you've come to talk to me about today?" the detective asked.

"Um, the man in swimming lessons," the girl replied.

She could not remember his name and described him as having brown hair.

Kyle Daniels, pictured with his mother, ‘absolutely and totally denies’ allegations he indecently touched young girls as he taught them swimming, his barrister told a jury. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi
Kyle Daniels, pictured with his mother, ‘absolutely and totally denies’ allegations he indecently touched young girls as he taught them swimming, his barrister told a jury. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

Asked what happened, the girl said: "He was holding me and I didn't like how he was holding me."

She said the instructor had placed one of his hands on her stomach and vagina, coming around from her back, as he held her up in the pool.

"It felt really uncomfortable," she said. "Because I didn't like it. And … I don't know."

She said the instructor told her what she needed to do in the lesson but said nothing else to her.

She was seven at the time of the alleged touch, for which Mr Daniels has been charged with indecent assault of a child under 16.

Mr Daniels' barrister Leslie Nicholls told the jury his client "absolutely and totally denies" the allegations.

"He has never knowingly or intentionally touched any of the complainants in a sexual, indecent or any other lawful manner whatsoever," Mr Nicholls told the jury as he pointed at Mr Daniels.

"And in a nutshell that is his case."

He told the jury to look closely at the circumstances of the alleged offending - a busy indoor pool, with parents and supervisors close by - and to consider the reliability of the evidence from the nine young girls.

The 12 jurors would have to weigh up if there was "any evidence whatsoever" to suggest Mr Daniels was aware of, or ever acknowledged, any of the alleged touches.

"This is not a case involving an accused person saying, 'Don't tell mum about what I just did'," Mr Nicholls said as he lowered his voice to a whisper. "'Are you OK? Did that feel OK?'"

"Not one such piece of evidence. Not one."

Crown prosecutor Karl Prince said there was "no coincidence" to be found in the similar accounts given by the nine girls.

The "only explanation", he told the jury, was that they were telling the truth.

The trial continues.

Originally published as 'Weird': 8yo speaks at swim abuse trial



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