February 2018

Wandsworth tennis coach who sexually assaulted a young girl is spared jail

A tennis coach who was caught on camera sexually assaulting a young girl has been spared jail.

Daniel McWhinnie, 54, of Fieldview in Earlsfield, moved behind his victim – who was under 10 years of age – as she was viewing a noticeboard inside a Wandsworth sports club before putting his hands over her shoulders onto her chest.

The alarm was raised when a manager saw the footage on internal CCTV.

Patricia Strobino, of the Crown Prosecution Service for London South, said: “Daniel McWhinnie deliberately abused his position of trust to touch a young girl for his own sexual pleasure.

“He knew what he was doing was a criminal offence as he had been clearly warned about the bounds of inappropriate behaviour before but still took the opportunity to grope her when he thought they were alone.”

McWhinnie was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Kingston Crown Court on February 1 with a rehabilitation activity requirement of 60 days on a sex offenders’ programme.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order banning him from future paid or voluntary work with children.

The 54-year-old admitted sexually assaulting the child in April 2015 as well as making more than 3,000 indecent photos of children which were related to images found on his computer devices at his home that same month.

Some of them showed children being sexually abused or raped.

Ms Strobino added: “This young girl was able to have much of her evidence filmed to take away some of the worry and stress of appearing in a courtroom, as part of the CPS’ commitment to helping children and vulnerable victims.

“However, the strength of the evidence against McWhinnie led him to change his pleas at the last moment, saving his victim and her family from any more distress and he now has to face the consequences of his actions.”