Former colleagues of a Capital football coach jailed for child sex offences in Australia today told of their “upset” at the news.
Stephen Gunn, 24, was sentenced to three years for tricking teenage boys into sexting him naked selfies.
Gunn spent five years as a coach at Bonnington-based coaching outfit Play2Learn Sports Coaching from 2008-2013 before heading Down Under in 2014.
“We are shocked and upset to be informed that Stephen Gunn, who worked as a coach with us for a short term four years ago has been convicted of child exploitation offences while in Australia,” Play2Learn’s Shane McCreevy said in a statement.
“He had no access to private information while working with us and there is no record of any complaints made about him during that time.”
Gunn duped boys, aged 14-17, to send selfies over 18 months, some containing sex acts, via the social network Snapchat by posing as a teen called Sarah.
The former Telford College student also used messaging app Kik to send child porn images to an American teen who told him they were in “grade ten” at a US school.
Gunn pleaded guilty to 31 charges in a Brisbane court yesterday (Mon) including nine counts of procuring sexual acts by false pretence, seven counts of indecent treatment of children under 16 and six counts of making child porn.
Police arrested Gunn after the club secretary found child porn images on the computer he returned to work following his sacking in mid-2015.
A stash of more than 446 child porn images and 11 videos were found on his six computer devices and USBs including four considered of the “worst category” portraying serious child abuse.
Gunn’s barrister Ruth O’Gorman told the court her client was lonely, depressed and trying to wrestle with his bisexuality.
Gunn wrote a letter apologising to his victims saying: “Not a day goes by that I do not regret one hundred per cent of my actions.” He will be deported after serving about nine months in prison.
Play2Learn today sought to reassure parents of children involved in their coaching classes.
“The safety and well being of the young people we coach is the primary concern of everyone and we will continue providing opportunities for young people to enjoy sport in a safe and secure environment,” read their statement.
“The actions of one individual should not be allowed to overshadow the hard work and professionalism of our team who have made our coaching business such a success.”