Tele: Kyle Daniels trial – Police deny handcuffing coach for media attention

Mosman swim coach Kyle Daniels wrote a card to a police officer thanking him for “treating me like a human being” after he was arrested for child sexual abuse, a court has heard.

It comes after the jury heard a different officer denied handcuffing the cooperative and calm Daniels just to parade him in front of cameras from the police media unit.

Daniels, 22, is facing trial in the NSW District Court after pleading not guilty to 26 child abuse charges.

Chatswood Constable Louie Barnes and Senior Constable Kayla Desvaux de Marigny were tasked with helping the Child Abuse Squad arrest Daniels at Mosman Swim Centre in mid-March 2019.

A videographer from the Police Media Unit met them at the pool where Daniels had allegedly molested nine young girls over the prior year.

They buzzed the intercom, the trial heard on Friday, but no one answered so the police decided to go to Daniels’ parents home – where the swim coach lived – in Sydney’s north.

The jury, on Friday, watched footage of the uniformed officers and two Child Abuse Squad detectives, in black suits, approach the Balgowlah home.

The footage was recorded by the police videographer.

The court heard the officers introduced themselves to Daniels and his mother, who were on the front veranda, and went inside.

The court heard Daniels was told he was under arrest for child abuse and Constable Barnes placed him in handcuffs before searching the swim coach.

Daniels’ barrister, Leslie Nicholls, pressed Constable Barnes about why he decided to handcuff the 22-year-old who was being cooperative and showing not an ounce of resistance.

“I wasn’t aware of how he would react,” Constable Barnes told the court.

“I believed it necessary to handcuff him to stop him fleeing, for his safety — and as well as my safety.”

The officer agreed, moments earlier, Daniels didn’t appear to be behaving in any of the ways police guidelines suggest as a reason for handcuffs.

Mr Nicholls asked Constable Barnes if he’d told Daniels “I’m sorry, I’ve been told to do this”.

“No, I definitely didn‘t say that,” the officer told the court.

Mr Nicholls suggested to Constable Barnes that he’d handcuffed Daniels for the purpose of it being captured on video by the media unit.

“No, I didn’t handcuff him for that reason,” the officer said.

The officer conceded he made no notes at all about the justification for handcuffing Daniels and in his statement said he simply mentioned “safety reasons”.

Footage captured by the videographer shows Daniels, with his face blurred and his hands handcuffed in front of him, being marched by Constable Barnes to the police wagon and put in the back.

The next video shot, shown to the jury, shows the wagon pulling up at Manly Police Station and then Daniels being unloaded while in the secure loading dock of the station.

Both Constable Barnes and Senior Constable Desvaux de Marigny said they didn’t stop the car or delay their journey in any way to allow the media unit to beat them to the station and get the shot of Daniels in custody.

Constable Barnes said he couldn’t explain how the videographer beat them to the station.

Once inside the station, the court heard, Constable Mauricio Martelli spoke with Daniels, offered him a drink, and told the coach he’d needed to have his photograph taken.

The next week Constable Martelli said he arrived at work and saw a letter waiting for him – it was a thank you card.

“Dear Mr Martelli, I just wanted to thank you for treating me like a human being. It meant the world to me. Kind regards Kyle,” the officer told the jury recalling the handwritten message inside.

The trial continues.

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