AFL embroiled in sex offender ‘disgrace’
A REPEAT sex offender has been permitted to resume umpiring junior footy matches in Victoria, The Frankston Standard Leader has revealed.
A Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled the 57-year-old convicted pervert has been approved for returning to umpire children's footy matches.
The tribunal panel received a glowing reference in support of his character from a "very senior person in the AFL".
The panel found the man did not "pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children".
Protected by a VCAT suppression order, the man's identity has been omitted in order to save him from "undue distress or embarrassment".
The individual is reported to have a long history of offending, including sexual penetration of a minor.
VCAT deputy president Ian Proctor said the senior AFL figure's character reference portrayed the individual, identified in VCAT documents as MFK, as a "stalwart" in the sport.
"A very senior person in the AFL gave a reference for MFK," The Leader reports.
"He appeared at VCAT in 2013 to give evidence on MFK's behalf, fully understanding MFK's history.
"By way of reference and through his oral evidence before me in this proceeding, this referee strongly supported MFK being given an assessment notice."
The individual's extensive criminal past has shocked footy commentators, who have labelled the AFL's support of the case "absolutely disgraceful".