Christopher David Barnes arrested, sexually assaulted boy at Sydney martial arts gym


Christopher David Barnes arrested, sexually assaulted boy at Sydney martial arts gym

Christopher Barnes reportedly sexually abused a boy at a martial arts gym in Sydney.

A instructor of martial arts is battling charges that at his gym he sexually abused a child.

Christopher David Barnes was arrested at his Woodpark home on Tuesday night after complaints were reported to police on Monday by the boy's family.

Mr. Barnes runs Fearless Martial Arts from a warehouse on Fairfield Road in Guildford West, which claims to have the' finest martial arts training available anywhere in the world.'

Police believe that the 33-year-old, known to his pupils as Master Chris, assaulted a boy at his school who was a classmate.

He was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a minor under 16 years of age and knowingly sexually touching a girl between 10 and 16 years of age.

After his counsel, Michael Fokkes, argued that there were serious questions about the police case, he was granted bail at Fairfield Local Court on Wednesday.

The accusations may have been the result of conspiracy between two families, he also argued in court.

At some point between 12.01am on January 1, 2019 and 11.59pm on December 31, 2020, records before the court say Mr Barnes assaulted the boy.

Mr. Fokkes said that police were forced to include such a "wide range of offenses" because "no specific allegations as to when this happened at all" were included in the fact sheet.

"If this had happened to the child, he would remember... the child would make absolutely no claims at all on the fact sheet as to when this happened," he said.

Christopher David Barnes

The court heard CCTV at the school will also disprove allegations made in the police fact sheet that because of the alleged bullying, the boy had not shown up to the gym for two months.

Mr. Fokkes said footage recorded the boy four times a week attending class and even performing for a ceremony until mid-December.

"CCTV will be continuously recorded from the beginning of November right up until today," he said. "Each day, he was there."

In November 2020, after he was accused of sexual harassment by the family of another boy, also a martial arts student, the court heard Mr Barnes installed cameras to ensure complaints "didn't happen again."

On November 22, he pleaded not guilty to deliberately sexually touching a child under 16 in the same court.

Because of previous bail conditions forbidding him to be in the presence of someone under 16, Mr. Fokkes said his client has now taken a "hands-off approach" to his company and operates out of hours only.

While on bail, he had not been in touch with any students or children, his barrister said.

Once bitten, twice shy," said Mr. Fokkes."

Mr. Fokkes said that in his forthcoming trial, the new complainant's family had offered to serve as a prosecution witness, but revoked that after being approached by the family of the first complainant.

He said a "glaring, black and white lie" was the child's assertion.

"There are real questions about the strength of the case for the crown. "It's very hard to keep the story straight when children lie," Mr Fokkes said.

Christopher David Barnes

"There was no other witness... and only after apparent collusion did it come out."

The court heard evidence that the mother of the boy had sent a letter to Mr. Barnes' brother, Robert, telling him that in February he would be going to class.

Police believe, however, that the message was sent before the boy revealed the suspected violence to his mother after overhearing her talk about classes on the phone.

Mr. Barnes will be released to live at his home in Woodford and must report to the police station in Parramatta seven days a week.

If he fails to appear in court, he will lose his passport and agree to forfeit $5000.

Next, he will appear on January 20 at Fairfield Local Court.