Should a golf club remove a picture of a former captain if he is a paedophile?

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 17, 2015 14:15

It might not be a question every golf club committee has to debate, but it is one that is vexing a club in Lancashire after it emerged a former captain is a paedophile.

The golf club, like many in the UK, has pictures of former captains that adorn the walls of the clubhouse, which chart the club’s long history.

However, the 2012 club captain was jailed for six years earlier this year for having sex with a 14-year-old girl he groomed online. He has also been indefinitely placed on the sex offenders register.

While his actions have nothing to do with the golf club, the issue of his picture has become relevant after a long-serving member emailed the club’s general manager requesting that the picture be removed, according to the Oldham Evening Chronicle.

The picture currently hangs over a doorway in the club’s main bar area, where it accompanies pictures of other captains and presidents.

The member stated: “It seems the club committee couldn’t decide what to do about it. What I can’t understand is why this should be a debate. Take [the paedophile’s] name away, take his title away and what is left is a picture of a sex offender. There really is no discussion. We have celebrities hauled over the coals for the same offences and my golf club thinks it’s right to turn a blind eye. So much for morals.”

However, while the club has made no public statement, the general manager did respond to the email stating that the committee is considering the request.

The paedophile met his victim, who was 13, on a social media website and asked her to send him explicit pictures and videos, but she refused. He later persuaded her to meet with him and had sex with her at her home. After his arrest police found 15 indecent images of children on the father-of-two’s computer.

The problem for the golf club seems to be not whether the former captain has committed a crime, but should he now be expunged from the club’s records, and if so, what the criteria is for that removal.

In the response to the email, the manager wrote: ‘The decision taken by the committee was to give further consideration before applying any action – because it wasn’t clear where to draw the line, if indeed [the paedophile] needed to be expunged from the records.’


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 17, 2015 14:15
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  1. pensioner pete March 19, 19:16

    It’s usually referred to as the rogue’s gallery in my club anyway. Of course take the photo down as he received a prison sentence (not because of the nature of the offence) but expunging his name from the club record book is an Orwellian nonsense. Just hope he was not the junior organiser at the club – that would be embarrassing

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  2. Zero Tolerance March 19, 17:39

    Absolutely. Golf has enough problems without perverts adding to them.

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  3. Jimbo March 18, 12:02

    Of course they should remove his picture, also remove his name totally from everything he has ever had to do with the club.

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