Scout leader sent flirty texts to girl

12:00a.m. 14th October 2008

|By  Blythe Seinor

A Sunshine Coast scout leader and school bus driver has pleaded guilty to a charge after sending flirtatious text messages to a 14-year-old girl.

He will not be able to work with children again.

David Scott Grieve, 42, sent a series of messages to the high school student on September 5 last year after a drinking session with his mates.

Mr Grieve pleaded guilty yesterday to using electronic equipment to expose a child under the age of 16 to indecent matter.

The bus driver had obtained the girl’s phone number earlier that day.!

He had wanted to sign her and a friend up to the scout group of which he was a leader.

Maroochydore District Court heard yesterday that 14 text messages were exchanged between Mr Grieve and the girl while she was at a friend’s house.

When the friend’s mother discovered the text messages she immediately contacted police.

The court heard the girl had already deleted many of the messages by the time officers looked at her phone.

Mr Grieve was charged with using electronic equipment to expose a child under the age of 16 to indecent matter.

The crown prosecution argued that Mr Grieve was aware of the girl’s age from her bus pass.

Mr Grieve subsequently lost his Blue Card, which is a requirement of working with children.

He also lost his job as a bus driver and has left his position as scout leader.

Mr Grieve now works as a security provider in hotels and bars around the Sunshine Coast.

Defence barrister Stephen Courtney told the court Mr Grieve had suffered “significant embarrassment” after news of the offence spread around the hinterland town in which he lives.

“The offending was a stupid game after some drinks, with no intent to go any further,” Mr Courtney said.

Mr Courtney said his client could not recall how the text session began.

He suggested it would be a more serious offence if Mr Grieve was a school teacher.

“If a teacher engaged in an exchange like this it would be very concerning,” Judge John Robertson said.

Judge Robertson did not record a conviction but sentenced Mr Grieve to serve 180 hours of community service.

“You have engaged in this conduct spontaneously, the texts obtained indicate there was a form of exchange with the 14-year old girl,” Judge Robertson said.

He said Mr Grieve was a mature man who should have known better.

“You as the adult in a position of trust should not have allowed yourself to get involved in sexual interaction with a child.”


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