Footy fight: Coach accused of spiteful, 'vicious' act

Geoffrey James Whittaker, who has pleaded not guilty to assault charges at a football carnival.
Geoffrey James Whittaker, who has pleaded not guilty to assault charges at a football carnival. Valerie Horton

A FOOTY coach has been accused of provoking a dispute with "vicious” acts towards a man's family.

Geoffrey James Whittaker has pleaded not guilty to assaulting his teenage son's rugby league coach.

Mr Whittaker was accused of attacking fellow Hervey Bay Seagulls Rugby League member Christopher Roberts at Morayfield in 2016.

Mr Roberts earlier told Brisbane District Court he was at his car when Mr Whittaker yelled "You dog c---”.

He said Mr Whittaker then headbutted him.

But on Wednesday, Mr Whittaker's barrister Rick Taylor said his client was goaded.

Closing the defence case, Mr Taylor said the coach dropped Mr Whittaker's son from the footy team in a "contrived and vicious act”.

The defence claimed this happened after the boy's parents fell out with Mr Roberts.

Mr Taylor claimed a "venomous” coach had repeatedly insulted Mr Whittaker.

"Sometimes it's appropriate to defend oneself by striking first,” Mr Taylor said.

Mr Whittaker said the coach insulted his wife.

His barrister accused the coach of giving "contrived” testimony and pretending to be blameless.

But the coach, a former NSW A-grade league player, rejected claims he benched the boy out of spite.

"All the kids know that if they don't come to training they don't play,” Mr Roberts said earlier.

The coach denied that he provoked Mr Whittaker into assaulting him.

Both men accused the other of using the insult "dog c---”.

After Mr Taylor finishes, prosecutor Toby Corsbie is expected to close the Crown case, before a jury considers the evidence. -NewsRegional

Topics:  alleged headbutt brisbane court caboolture fccourt hervey bay hervey bay seagulls morayfield nsw rugby league youth sports

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