Sex offender free after stealing sportswear

Sex offender free after stealing sportswear

CONVICTED sex offender Philip Rolls looked like he had come straight from a tennis court.

Rolls, who claims to be one of Melbourne’s most popular tennis coaches, was wearing a blue tracksuit and bright orange tennis shoes when he faced County Court judge Barbara Cotterell yesterday.

Rolls, 54, is listed on the state’s sex offenders register and is banned from working with children until 2016.

He appeared in the County Court for breaching a suspended jail sentence he received in 2008 when caught loitering near Croydon Secondary College.

Prosecutor Andrew Halse said Rolls was given a two-month jail term, wholly suspended for 24 months, after he was found at the school ”with no pants on”. Rolls had breached the conditions when caught stealing more than $9000 worth of tennis equipment from Diadora while working at the sportswear company’s Hawthorn warehouse between 2009 and 2010.

When interviewed by police in February, 2010, Rolls admitted he was coaching tennis but claimed his clients were not children.

He said Diadora had been sponsoring him to wear their clothes because he was such a well-known tennis coach.

Defence lawyer Nadia Kaddeche said tennis was Rolls’ life but he had turned his life around since being placed on the state’s sex offenders register.

Judge Cotterell convicted Rolls on the theft charges and jailed him for five months, wholly suspended for 12 months. She said if there was ever a time Rolls was going to straighten himself up, it was now.

Rolls was initially convicted for wilful and obscene exposure following an incident with a teenage girl at a Moorabbin tennis club. He was placed on the sex offenders register and banned from working with children on May 17, 2007, after he was caught loitering near Croydon Secondary College.

He was placed under police surveillance in August 2007 after a tip-off that he was coaching children as young as six. Tennis Australia was notified two days later.

It turned out he was teaching children tennis at clubs in Croydon East, Warburton, Canterbury, Blackburn and Noble Park.

Rolls was arrested on August 30, 2007, and charged with engaging in child-related employment when a convicted sex offender.

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