Former Brisbane Boys’ College rowing coach David Bellamy. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Former Brisbane Boys’ College rowing coach David Bellamy. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Sacked elite school coach clears name after ‘wanger-gate’

THE rowing coach sacked from elite Brisbane Boys' College for telling his squad not to twirl their "wangers" has won a five-year battle to clear his name - and a payment, including his legal costs, said to top $1 million.

The breakthrough came on the eve of a marathon trial that was due to start tomorrow.

The Sunday Mail understands a deed of settlement was hammered out by two of Brisbane's leading barristers: Nick Ferrett, QC, for David Bellamy and Rob Anderson, QC, for the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools' Association, which runs BBC. The settlement also includes a statement in which the PMSC will say the controversy was regrettable and that any suggestions of serious wrongdoing by Mr Bellamy were unfounded.

Mr Bellamy declined to comment.

In documents lodged earlier with the Supreme Court, Bellamy said he was shunned and taunted as a pedophile after he was sacked. Mr Bellamy was suing for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract "in the sum of not less than $450,000" and for defamation and $650,000 for losses.

 

Old boys at Brisbane Boys College are happy not to have to go through the humiliation of a trial.
Old boys at Brisbane Boys College are happy not to have to go through the humiliation of a trial.

 

Yesterday, friends said Mr Bellamy told them he could not divulge details but was "over the moon" a deal had been reached in his favour.

Legal costs for both sides eclipsed $1 million, The Sunday Mail was told. Details of the payments may be the subject of a confidentially agreement when the settlement deed is lodged with the court.

News of a settlement was the hot topic on the sideline yesterday at the rugby clash between BBC and Gregory Terrace. BBC old boys said they were happy Mr Bellamy and the illustrious boys' school did not have to endure the humiliation of a costly trial.

The saga began in 2014 after Mr Bellamy was sacked for telling students during a sex talk not to twirl their "wangers" - slang for penises - and waving his hand in front of his trousers.

He had been asked to warn the boys about their behaviour after "lewd sex acts" by BBC boys at a rowing camp at the University of Queensland the year before when a boy slapped another on the face with his penis.

These boyish sexual pranks, outlined in court documents, also include an explanation of the "impossible sit-up". This happened when a boy was "forced by students to perform what is known as the impossible sit-up, which required the (blindfolded) boy to attempt to perform a sit-up while another boy, wearing only underpants, or similar, straddled his face".

Mr Bellamy maintained he was simply attempting to stop the misbehaviours of the previous year from being repeated.