Exposed: The sick abuse crimes of Gold Coast sports coaches


THEY were meant to be role models for the young impressionable athletes they mentored, but these Gold Coast sports coaches found themselves on the wrong side of the law for various crimes. Here are their disgusting stories.


Tony Teasdale

A CONVICTED sexual abuser coached teenagers at a sporting club for months despite legally being unable to work with children, a court was told this year.

Tony Teasdale pleaded guilty in Southport Magistrates Court in January to an offence relating to a breach of his negative notice.

Police prosecutor Joel Sleep said Teasdale worked as a volunteer coach at Gold Coast Stingrays sporting club between July and November 2018.

That was despite him being the holder of a negative notice, which was issued to him when his blue card was surrendered after he was charged with "disqualifying offences".

The court was told Teasdale was convicted last year and was serving a jail sentence of three years and six months for indecent treatment of children.

A negative notice prevents people from working in a regulated business or providing regulated child-related activities. The offence carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

Teasdale, who self-represented, said he was "confused by the terms of the negative notice".

"I thought it referred to employment and I was never actually employed, so that's where I was confused," he said.

Teasdale was sentenced to three months jail, to be suspended after 24 days for an operational period of 12 months.



Anthony Nelson

Anthony Nelson. Picture: Jerad Williams.
Anthony Nelson. Picture: Jerad Williams.

A GOLD Coast junior soccer coach jailed for sexually molesting two teenage girls was allowed to continue working with his under-12 team, despite his club knowing about the charges.

To make matters worse, Burleigh Heads Soccer Club gave the paedophile, 38-year-old Anthony Nelson, a reference to use in court to help have his sentence reduced.

Nelson was coaching the under-12s weeks after pleading guilty in June 2016 to having forced himself on to two girls, aged 14 and 15, he met through the club.

The club excused its actions at the time, saying it knew of the charges but it had not been thought Nelson was a risk with an all-boys team.

Nelson had not been required to hold a blue card as he had a child in the team he was coaching.

Nelson faced Southport District Court in July 2016 on two charges of indecent treatment and was sentenced to six months in jail.

The Southport District Court was told Nelson gave the girls cigarettes and alcohol during a slumber party in Varsity Lakes in May 2015.


Anthony Nelson. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS.
Anthony Nelson. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS.


In the early hours of the morning, Nelson crept into the bedroom where the first victim, a 14-year-old girl, was sleeping and lay next to her, stroking her face.

He then asked the girl to kiss him before groping her breasts and pinning her hands down before leaving the room.

Nelson then returned later and lay down next to the 15-year-old girl and stroked her back and bottom, before getting on top of her and trying to kiss her, saying she was "sexy" and a "princess".

The court heard he would not get off her, despite the girl hitting him.

He eventually left after she told him she was "still a child".

In both instances he "dared" the terrified girls to scream for help in what Judge William Everson described at the time as "brazen" and "persistent" attacks.

Judge Everson said Nelson's criminal history in both NSW and Queensland meant he must serve time in custody.

Nelson was found guilty of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and assaulting her elderly father in Sydney in 1998. In June 2013, he was fined $750 fine for assault although no conviction was recorded.

The court was told the two girls suffered severe mental anguish after the incident.


Mark Francis Stafford


Mark Francis Stafford. Picture: Supplied.
Mark Francis Stafford. Picture: Supplied.

A FORMER Surfers Paradise Surf Lifesaving clubbie was given a head sentence of three years in jail after pleading guilty to sexually abusing seven girls aged from eight years old.

Mark Francis Stafford pleaded guilty to a total of 31 charges in Brisbane District Court in June 2015.

He was sentenced to three years in jail, suspended after 10 months, for the offences committed from 2008 until 2013.

Court documents showed that the charges against Stafford related to his involvement with girls from three Gold Coast families.

The court heard that many of the incidents happened at his house on a weekend after he convinced parents to let several girls sleep over.

During the visit Stafford instructed the girls to paint his body while naked, pretended to have sex with a mannequin in front of them and swam with them in the pool while he was naked.

He also served the children Midori and encouraged them to search for explicit pictures and videos on his computer.

Stafford gave the girls key search words that brought up a pornographic video and while they were watching a couple having sex, he explained what masturbating was and how to do it.

He took pictures of the girls jumping into the pool on the same day, photographing them the moment their T-shirts pushed up so that their bodies were almost naked.

Police found the images in a search of his home.

Stafford also admitted to abusing another one of the other girls in her home, while her parents were in another room nearby.

Other charges related to him touching the girls sexually while showering with them.

His oldest victim, who was a teenager at the time, sent a message to Stafford before he was charged saying she was planning to expose him.

Stafford sent back a text saying he thought the girls "were enjoying it".

He threatened to kill himself if she took action. Police used the texts as evidence against him.

The Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club revoked membership immediately after police told the club he was under investigation as part of Surf Life Saving Australia's policy.

He was an "active volunteer who took part in standard patrols".


Brett Sutton


Brett Sutton. Picture: Paul Riley.
Brett Sutton. Picture: Paul Riley.

TRIATHLON Australia revoked champion coach Brett Sutton's coaching accreditation in 1999 and imposed a three-year ban on him after he was convicted of sexually abusing a teenage swimmer.

He continued to coach several top triathletes from a training base in Switzerland.

The ban expired in December 2002.

In 1999, Sutton pleaded guilty in Southport Magistrate's Court to five counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

The abuse began in the 1980s, when the girl was 13, and continued for two years while Sutton was her swimming coach.

Sutton pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years' jail, suspended for three years.

The high-profile coach did not serve time behind bars after it was argued that jailing him would disadvantage athletes he was coaching for the Sydney Olympics.


Hugh "Ossie" McNamara

Hugh "Ossie" McNamara. Picture: Nathan Richter.

RUGBY league great Peter Jackson's death of a heroin overdose in Sydney in 1997 shocked the football world.

He was a larrikin, had won everything in the game, was widely respected and marvelled for his playing ability. He was only 33 years old.

What emerged after his death was a troubled personal history that included sexual abuse by a house master and football coach during his time as a boarder at The Southport School.

Hugh "Ossie" McNamara would be convicted as a child molester at his next school, Brisbane's Marist Brothers Ashgrove, following his abuse of a 15-year-old boarder.

The paedophile died in 2012.








Originally published as Exposed: The sick abuse crimes of Coast sports coaches