Starting Blocks at swimming pool
Starting Blocks at swimming pool

Jail for ‘vile’ swim coach who preyed on girls

A VICTIM of serial child sex predator swim coach Brendan John Terry has delivered a gut-wrenching victim impact statement in court, detailing how the crime robbed her of her voice and self worth.

"Brendan Terry's first touch changed the trajectory of my entire life," the woman said in an emotional address to the court.

The woman, who will not be named to protect her identify, told Judge Catherine Muir it did not matter how much time Terry spent in jail, it would not change the vile person he was.

"He is a predator and he will always be a hideous, depraved, vulgar human being and no amount of time will change those facts," she said.

Terry was this afternoon sentenced in the Brisbane District Court for 23 sex crimes including rape and indecent treatment of children relating to his abuse of five young girls including four who he coached in swimming.

Judge Muir described Terry's offending as "reprehensible", saying he was "predatory and persistent" and had acted with "such a sense of entitlement"

She sentenced him to a head sentence of seven years and six months' imprisonment for the rape offence.

Terry was also sentenced to three years imprisonment for each of the indecent treatment charges to run concurrently with the rape sentence.

He will be eligible for parole after he has served three years behind bars on June 11, 2023. He has already been in custody for 134 days.

Crown Prosecutor Carly Whelan said Terry, now 57, had committed the offences over a 19-year period.

The court heard the offending began in 1989 and continued until 2004 before a four-year gap in offending which then began again between 2008 and 2009.

"The offences are a serious breach of trust for the defendant's own sexual gratification," Ms Whelan said

"The defendant used his position as a sporting coach to access teenage girls to engage in sexual activities with them."

Judge Muir pointed out that some of the girls were younger than teenagers with one girl aged eight and another 10.

Ms Whelan said there was an element of grooming in Terry's crimes and he would make sexual comments towards the girls leading up to the offending.

"And he would then act upon the sexual interest when he knew that he was alone with them," she said.

In one case at the Windsor high school pool in 2003, Terry walked in on a girl when she was aged 12 or 13 and told her to drop her towel and take off her underwear and the terrified girl complied.

Ms Whelan said the Terry began touching the girl sexually before forcing her to her knees and pushing his penis into her mouth and she sobbed and choked.

"He told her that he was hard and wanted to show her how hard he was," Ms Whelan said,

"He said this is what you have done to me.

"He told her to get on her knees and have a better look."

After the attack the little girl sat sobbing in a shower cubicle before she then had to go to swimming training.

Terry also pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent dealing against one girl when she was between the ages of 10 and 15.

"The conduct included touching of the breasts, kissing on the mouth and ear, having the complainant rub his penis, touching the complainant on the vagina and exposing himself naked to her," Ms Whelan said.

In another series of offending, Terry indecently dealt with a girl when she was aged 11 to 13 years by touching her breasts.

Defence Barrister Kim Bryson said Terry had worked as a swimming coach since 1986 and he also worked as a triathlon coach before later becoming a real estate agent.

She said Terry's real estate company ceased trading in 2019 when business declined "as a result of adverse media attention" relating to the charges.

Ms Bryson said Terry suffered a difficult childhood and he claimed he was sexually abused by a priest as a boy.

The court heard Terry, who is in custody awaiting sentence, had been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic which has caused visits and courses within the prison to be limited.

Judge Muir will hand down her sentence later today.





Originally published as Jail for 'vile' swim coach who preyed on girls