School worker found unfit to work with children
A PROSTON school groundsman has resigned after a Blue Card check revealed he was unfit to work around children.
The 49-year-old man pleaded guilty to the offence of a disqualified person applying for or starting regulated employment, in Murgon Magistrates Court on December 11.
Magistrate Louisa Pink said the man should take extreme care as a previous offender, even 20 years on from the offence.
"Really in your case, this is a clear reminder that your history stays with you,” she said.
Police Prosecutor Barry Stevens said the man was convicted of the disqualifying offence of indecent treatment to a person under 16 by the Gympie Court on September 2, 1998.
The man had signed an application for a Blue Card through the school on March 15, declaring he was not a disqualified person.
"The business manager also signed a declaration saying she had warned the defendant that it was an offence for a disqualified person to sign the Blue Card application,” he said.
The court heard the man had commenced work at the South Burnett primary school as a groundsman on March 26, this year.
Snr Sgt Stevens said correspondence regarding the man's disqualifying status, was sent to the school and the defendant on June 6.
The school terminated the groundsman position the next day.
"This is a serious offence,” Sgt Stevens said.
Defence lawyer Chris Campbell said the 49-year-old man was approached to work at his child's school after the previous groundskeeper left suddenly.
"He had already commenced work at the request of the school, when he was asked if there was any reason why you shouldn't get a Blue Card, and he said no,” he said.
The court heard the groundsman position was terminated once the school was notified of the man's criminal history.
Magistrate Pink said she did not accept the man had not realised he needed a Blue Card.
"People generally know working with children is regulated, with your criminal history, the proper course would be for you to make enquiries about your 20-year-old history,” she said.
The South Burnett man was convicted and fined $2200.