How crucial CCTV footage in trial of Sydney swim teacher, 22, was lost

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How crucial footage of the lessons in which a swim teacher, 22, allegedly sexually touched nine of his child students was LOST – and why it took two weeks for police to discover the mistake

  • Kyle James Henk Daniels has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting nine girls
  • The swim teacher, 22, is halfway through marathon five week District Court trial
  • Daniels’s nine alleged victims have all given pre-recorded evidence to the court
  • Mosman Swim Centre manager Emma Le Mottee gave evidence on Wednesday
  • She revealed how CCTV footage of the lessons in question had become corrupt 

Swim teacher Kyle James Henk Daniels, 22, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting nine young girls at the Mosman Swim Centre

Crucial security footage of the lessons in which a swim teacher is alleged to have sexually assaulted his young students was lost when the files were ‘corrupted’ – but the bungle was not discovered for several weeks, a court has heard.

Kyle James Henk Daniels, 22, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting nine young girls he taught at the Mosman Swim Centre on Sydney’s lower north shore in 2018 and 2019.

Downing Centre District Court has previously heard pre-recorded evidence from all of the nine girls and their parents as part of the marathon trial.

Mosman Swim Centre venue manager Emma Le Mottee was the latest witness to give evidence on Wednesday and told the court she had been made aware of the complaint of one parent, whose two daughters were among the nine alleged victims.

In the days that followed Ms Le Mottee went through CCTV cameras in the centre in the search for moments where Daniels could have potentially carried out the alleged sexual assaults, the court heard.

She eventually recorded that footage and documented what she saw in an email, but when the files were eventually handed over to police the footage was irretrievable.

Crucial CCTV footage of the lessons in which Daniels is alleged to have sexually assaulted his young students was lost when the files became ‘corrupted’, Downing Centre Court has heard

Emma Le Mottee, venue manager at Mosman Swim Centre, told the court on Wednesday she had attempted to download the CCTV from the days of the lessons in question but when she handed it over to police it was corrupt and had not recorded properly

Emma Le Mottee, venue manager at Mosman Swim Centre, told the court on Wednesday she had attempted to download the CCTV from the days of the lessons in question but when she handed it over to police it was corrupt and had not recorded properly

Ms Le Mottee told the court she had downloaded CCTV of the lessons of both girls on a storage device ‘straight away’ after being asked to by police. 

But she claimed that despite urgently recording the video, it took police a fortnight before they came to claim it off her.  

‘I either called or emailed to advise it was ready for collection,’ Ms Le Mottee told the court. 

‘Then after several days I called or emailed just to check up (on when they would be coming to collect the device).

‘I believe I checked up twice and it was collected almost two weeks later.

‘When we copied it over we checked that all the files were on it.’

But when police tried to play the footage they could not get it to work, with even an expert in security systems unable to help.  

After being asked by Daniels’ defence barrister Leslie Nicholls how the footage went from being on there to disappearing, Ms Le Mottee clarified she and the officer who collected the storage device did not check check if the file would play.

‘We checked that the files were there, we didn’t watch the five hours in full,’ she said.

While there is no recording from that part of the CCTV footage, Ms Le Mottee sent an email to her boss after viewing the video the first time on February 19, 2019.

Daniels (left), his mother Janine (centre) and solicitor Urania Zafiris (right) leave the Downing Centre Courthouse on Wednesday

Daniels (left), his mother Janine (centre) and solicitor Urania Zafiris (right) leave the Downing Centre Courthouse on Wednesday

The trial continues in the NSW District Court before Judge Kara Shead

The trial continues in the NSW District Court before Judge Kara Shead

Mosman Swim Centre venue manager Emma Le Mottee told the court police took two weeks to pick up a USB stick

Mosman Swim Centre venue manager Emma Le Mottee told the court police took two weeks to pick up a USB stick

That email to Michael Conna was shown to the jury and included dot points outlining what she saw in the CCTV that directly related to the claims made by the young girls.

‘From what I can see no inappropriate holds or handling was made,’ part of the email read.

‘Kyle was above the water for most of the lesson (standing on the platform) when he wasn’t, he was assisting with breaststroke kick turn out – holding feet of students.

‘At the end of the lesson Kyle assisted with dives, this is where I feel the allegation could have been made.’

Ms Le Mottee told Mr Conna it did not appear the students ‘looked uncomfortable or distressed throughout the lesson’.

The trial continues in the NSW District Court before Judge Kara Shead.

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