Vic coach returns to jail over sex abuse

Jacqueline Le

A former Victorian rowing coach will spend at least another three years behind bars after admitting he sexually abused two boys at a school at Geelong more than two decades ago.

Convicted sex offender David Whitcroft, 70, was on Thursday sentenced for indecently assaulting two boys at Geelong College between 1973 and 1993.

Whitcroft will remain in jail, having completed a 14-month sentence on November 2, for sexually abusing another boy during the 1980s at a Sunshine boys home.

While in custody for the other crimes, Whitcroft pleaded guilty to abusing the two boys at Geelong.

Whitcroft worked at Geelong College as a rowing coach and boarding house master between 1973 and 1982 before moving to other schools in Victoria and Queensland.

He returned to Geelong College in 1989 and remained there until he was dismissed in 1993 for ignoring instructions not to massage boys.

Whitcroft introduced massage as a form of stress relief and sport recovery before using it to groom his two victims, Victorian County Court judge Felicity Hampel said.

"You would brush his penis and make it out that it was an accident," she said.

"He recalled you were breathing heavily as it was occurring."

Whitcroft began grooming another boy in 1973 after his family asked the coach to counsel him through a family breakdown.

"You had, with active encouragement of his family, become a confidant for him," Judge Hampel said.

"During counselling sessions you made body contact with him.

"You introduced him to massages ... oils and candles."

Whitcroft began performing sex acts on the boy and told the student it was "their secret".

The student did not tell anyone about the abuse until he confided to his father that he had his first sexual experience with Whitcroft.

When confronted by the father in 2010, Whitcroft said he "had an affair" with his son.

"What you previously called 'relationships' were not that at all, but rather the predatory behaviour of an adult male who should have known he could not engage in sexual behaviour with a child," the judge said.

Whitcroft was sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison and must serve at least three years until being eligible for parole.