Mayor backs employer's actions

By Sandra Conchie

1 comment


Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby says he is satisfied that the council's pools company is appropriately dealing with the case of an Otumoetai Pools attendant who assaulted a teenage girl.

John Trevor Hill, 51, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault in Tauranga District Court on Tuesday.

The offence relates to him assaulting a 14-year-old girl by inappropriately hugging her outside the pool complex in June this year during one of his work breaks.

Hill, who was stood down from his job until the charge was resolved, has been sentenced to 75 hours' community work and must pay $500 compensation to his victim for emotional harm.

He was originally charged with indecent assault but police downgraded the charge to assault after legal arguments by his lawyer.

Hill, who has a prior similar assault conviction relating to another school girl outside Otumoetai College, is employed by Tauranga City Aquatics Limited (TCAL) - the council's pools company.

His future employment at the pools is under review.

In a written statement published in yesterday's Bay of Plenty Times, TCAL chief executive Tania Delahunty said: "This matter has been dealt with by the police who TCAL have co-operated fully with.

"As this is an employment issue we cannot discuss the details but we are confident that appropriate steps have been taken."

The Bay of Plenty Times was unable to contact Ms Delahunty yesterday after several phone calls seeking further comments about Hill's future and TCAL's employee screening tests.

But Mr Crosby told the Bay of Plenty Times last night that after speaking to Ms Delahunty yesterday he was satisfied TCAL had taken the appropriate steps in relation to this matter.

Mr Crosby said he understood TCAL was informed of the possibility of Hill facing charges in relation to the incident and believed management took all the right steps to address any concerns.

"That included fully engaging with the police and the victim's family and standing Hill down until the allegations against him were resolved," he said.

Mr Crosby said in relation to employee screening checks, if TCAL felt it did not previously have adequately robust systems in place, he was sure changes would be made to improve them.

He said in regards to Hill's future at Otumoetai Pools, that was an employment matter which must be resolved between TCAL and Hill.

"But I expect there will be an appropriate outcome, so the public can feel 100 per cent safe in attending the pools."

Mr Crosby said he was being kept fully briefed on developments.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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