A DISGRACED Glasgow Warriors rugby player who frightened a 14-year-old girl by chatting to her and giving her his phone number was yesterday told he had let himself and his team down.
Peter Rossouw de Klerk, 25, approached the girl at Scotstoun Stadium Glasgow, on 14 April, following a minor row with his pregnant wife.
At Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday South African de Klerk, admitted committing a breach of the peace at Scotstoun Stadium.
He was originally charged with stalking the girl and denied this. The Crown accepted his guilty plea to the reduced charge.
Sheriff Kenneth Hogg fined de Klerk £675 and told him: “The fact you are a professional rugby player, nowadays, mean you have status as a role model and as a role model your behaviour must be exemplary.
“You let yourself down and you also let down the team you played for, Glasgow Warriors, and you have no-one to blame but yourself.
“You have lost your job and the accommodation that came with it and you have got a lot of explaining to do with your wife. This was a reckless act of total stupidity.”
The court was told that
19-stone de Klerk, a forward, left the schoolgirl shocked after he chatted to her and then minutes later gave her a piece of paper with his phone number on it
De Klerk approached the girl, described as a promising athlete, as she trained close to the player’s tunnel.
At about 10:30am de Klerk walked towards her and said: “Hi, how are you,” and the girl, who was wearing a top with her school name on it, replied: “I’m good.”
He then told her: “That’s good,” and smiled and smirked at her.
The court heard that the girl was shocked because she had been training at the stadium for a number of years and no rugby player had ever approached her before.
Minutes after the first encounter de Klerk returned and passed her a small piece of paper with his mobile phone number on it.
Afterwards the girl told her mother that she he felt “freaked out” and panicky because de Klerk is at least ten years older than her.
Scottish Rugby Union officials became involved and spoke to the accused who admitted talking to the girl and giving her his phone number. However, he claimed he thought she was 17.
When quizzed about why he had done this he said: “I had seen her around, but never spoke. I thought she looked like somebody I could have been friendly with. I really felt she was someone I could talk to. After I gave her the number I immediately regretted it.”
De Klerk also claimed he had been feeling low as he had a minor row with his wife and needed someone to talk to.
Defence lawyer Michael Gallen said: “He recognises that his behaviour was wholly inappropriate, but it was a relatively brief incident. He is entirely at a lost to explain why he spoke to her. He deeply regrets the incident and is acutely aware of the upset he caused to the girl.”
The court heard that as a result of this incident de Klerk’s contract with Glasgow Warriors was terminated.
Mr Gallen added: “He lost his job and the accommodation in Glasgow that came with it. He has always accepted his actions and intends to leave the country. His wife and child have already flown back to South Africa.