Junior coach loses permit: Social netball turned violent, court told

A JUNIOR girls netball coach lost his right to work with children after assaulting a teenager and his older sister during a game of social mixed netball, Mildura Magistrates’ Court heard this week.

Social sport at Mildura’s Lifestyle Plus complex turned violent on an evening in September last year when Joseph Kolo Maamaloa, 42, abused a 17-year-old oppon­ent and pushed him in the chest.

When the boy’s older sister intervened, Maamaloa said “I don’t give a f--- how old he is” and tried to push through the woman to get to the teenager.

Bystanders had to intervene to separate the parties.

Maamaloa, also known as Joseph Fine, was described as a “netball veteran” who had played and coached the game, including at junior level, by his lawyer Hugh Middleton.

Mr Middleton said Maamaloa coached under 15 girls last year and this year but his working with children check was suspended when he was charged with unlawful assault over the Lifestyle Plus incident.

Mr Middleton said Maamaloa reacted to what he considered “provocative behaviour” towards female members of his team but ­regretted his actions which had “led to things getting out of control”.

Prosecutor Lauren Abson said the scuffle left the female victim with pain to her whole body the following day, bruising to her ­biceps and constant anxiety.

The New Zealand-born man pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful assault on Wednesday.

Two character references for Maamaloa were tendered to the court and Mr Middleton asked Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt not to impose a conviction.

Mr Klestadt told Maamaloa: “It is sur­prising that a person of your age would ­become involved in such an ugly incident.”

Maamaloa was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond requiring him to ­donate $650 to The Salvation Army within three months.

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