Elderly man to front court after allegedly attacking student

AN ELDERLY man has been charged with allegedly assaulting a student at the St Mary's lower campus late last year.

The 74-year-old is facing one charge of common assault on a child and is due to appear in the Warwick Magistrates Court in April.

It was initially feared the incident was an attempted abduction, but those claims have since been dismissed by both the Warwick police and Catholic Education director John Borserio.

The parent of a student told the Daily News in November that his child witnessed the man grab the child before other children pulled their classmate away.

Those students have since been rewarded by the school for their role in the November 5 incident.

Mr Borserio said his understanding of what occurred between the man and the student was not "an interaction" between the student and a "youth", as he initially understood.

"Following my media statement issued in November 2012, members of the Catholic Education Office continued to talk with the school and the parents whose children witnessed the interaction between a member of the public and a student from the school," he said.

"We have also had conversations with the Queensland Police Service.

"As a result of these ongoing discussions, it has become evident that the interaction was not as we originally understood."

Mr Borserio did not elaborate on what his new understanding of the incident was, but stressed it was taken seriously by school authorities.

Two students who came to the aid of the student involved were presented with awards during a school assembly.

"I commend the children, their parents, the principal, school staff and the police in Warwick for the way in which they have worked together in relation to this incident," Mr Borserio said.

"Student protection is a key concern for us all."

A Warwick police spokesman confirmed the man had not been charged with attempted abduction, kidnapping or any similar offence.

The 74-year-old is due to front the Warwick Magistrates Court again on April 2.



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