Abuse inquiry to question NSW police

Convicted pedophile Grant Davies prior to a court hearing at Burwood, Sydney, in December 2014. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Convicted pedophile Grant Davies prior to a court hearing at Burwood, Sydney, in December 2014. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Sydney [AAP]

NSW Police officers are set to give evidence about why a case against a pedophile dance coach was closed in 2007, allowing him to continue abusing children for another six years before he was finally arrested.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been examining the responses of police and child protection agencies in NSW to the case of RG Dance, a Sydney dance school founded by Grant Davies and his sister Rebecca.

NSW Police officers will give evidence to the commission on Friday.

Grant Davies was jailed last year after pleading guilty to 47 counts of sex offences against nine students at the once highly regarded school he helped start in 2001.

The commission has heard this week from students, parents, and former dance instructors, about evidence they gave to police in 2007 about Davies’ abuse which included sending students explicit text messages and touching them inappropriately.

On Thursday the commission heard from former RG Dance company secretary, John Barnier, who rang the then NSW Department of Community Services (DoCS) helpline on February 20, 2007, with his concern about how the Davies family was handling complaints about Grant Davies.

They wanted him to get psychological help and return to teaching when he got the all-clear.

The commission has heard that after a relatively short leave of absence, Davies was back at work and no one checked his assertion that he had been given the all-clear by a counsellor.

Mr Barnier was married to Jennifer Davies who gave evidence on Thursday she never suspected her brother was a pedophile and could not recall her husband raising his concerns with her.

The deputy secretary of the current NSW Department of Family Services, Deidre Mulkerin, told the commission on Thursday that DoCS records showed a police investigation was already underway when Mr Barnier called the helpline and the agency was awaiting the outcome.

A year later DoCS noted that Davies still had access and posed a risk to children but they could not act until police charged him.

He was never charged.

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