Generic shot showing junior rugby league players. Identities have been deliberately obscured.
Generic shot showing junior rugby league players. Identities have been deliberately obscured.

Teacher charged with assault of teenager

A TOWNSVILLE teacher who allegedly "palmed" a teenager in the face after a junior rugby league match has been charged by detectives.

The woman is accused of assaulting the teenager after a game between her son's team and Brothers Rugby League club.

It will be alleged the woman "palmed" the alleged victim in the face as the two teams were shaking hands.

On Sunday Kristen Leedy was charged with common assault, following an investigation by detectives.

It comes as the woman faced a three-person independent tribunal after being suspended from attending Queensland rugby league matches over the incident.

The Townsville Bulletin haspreviouslyrevealed the woman was a relief teacher within the region.

A Education Queensland spokesman said the woman had been suspended pending the outcome of the court case. The department declined to comment further due to privacy reasons.

Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts said assaults at junior sports matches were becoming an increasing problem across the country and were a criminal offence with lasting consequences.

"It's becoming increasingly common that we see parents on the sidelines assaulting other parents, assaulting the coaches, assaulting sometimes the referees, and rarely opposition players," Mr Potts said.

"Quite clearly it is not only in the spirit of the game but it's a criminal offence."

He said if one was convicted of the offence, particularly as a teacher, they could be subject to workplace disciplinary proceedings, which could result in the cancellation, or suspension of a teaching license.

Additionally, he said if a teacher was found guilty of the offence, their blue card, which is required for working with children, could be at risk.

Townsville District Junior Rugby League president Bert Petersen has previously said the incident would likely result in match day changes, which would be raised when the board meets in November.

The woman will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on October 29.


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