Swim abuse cop ‘changed bottom to vagina’ in statement
The lead detective investigating swim instructor Kyle Daniels for alleged child sexual abuse changed the word "bottom" to "vagina" in a mum's statement, a court has heard.
Asked if the change had been favourable to her case against Mr Daniels, Detective Senior Constable Emma Lay said it "makes no difference" before agreeing it was supportive.
The admission came as Constable Lay was grilled about her actions during the police investigation into Mr Daniels and the fact she had read news reports about the trial before giving evidence.
Mr Daniels, 22, is now in the fifth week of his trial in the NSW District Court.
He is accused of sexually abusing nine of his young students at Mosman Swim Centre and has pleaded not guilty to 26 charges.
In his opening address, defence barrister Leslie Nicholls told the jury the police investigation was a "significant matter" in the trial and they would need to look closely at Constable Lay's actions.
The detective said on Wednesday she had taken the mother's statement over email because the woman's work commitments prevented her from coming to the station.
"You know that you changed the words bum to vagina in her statement, didn't you?" Mr Nicholls asked the detective.
"After speaking with (her)," Ms Lay answered.
The change happened after a phone call, of which the only record was an email noting the detective would call the mother, the court heard.
Ms Lay said she had made the call to ask her about it specifically and "clarify what was being said".
She said she could not remember the precise words exchanged. She denied it was her "suggestion" to make the change and agreed she had "raised" the issue.
Constable Lay also rejected suggestions she misled a Crown solicitor by telling her the draft statement containing the word "bottom" was contained in the brief of evidence.
"You attempted to hide ..." Mr Nicholls began.
"No I did not," Constable Lay interrupted.
"Let me finish the question. I suggest to you that you attempted to hide the fact that (the mother's) statement, sent to you on 11th March 2019, had been changed by you."
"Disagree," she said.
The statement in question is from the mother of two sisters whose allegations led to Mr Daniels's arrest on March 12, 2019.
Six more girls came forward after media reports about his arrest as well as a seventh girl who had previously complained to Mosman Swim Centre about being touched inappropriately by Mr Daniels.
They jury has heard evidence from all nine girls as well as from one or both of all their parents.
Constable Lay joined the child sex abuse squad in September 2018, the court heard.
The trial continues.
Originally published as Swim abuse cop 'changed bottom to vagina'