A convicted sex offender has been found not guilty of loitering near children after walking into Launceston College and asking to see his daughter.
Anthony John Minney, 37, is prohibited from loitering near children, without a reasonable excuse, because of convictions for indecent assault.
On June 4, Mr Minney entered the Paterson Street college at lunchtime from a nearby footbridge telling a student administration officer that he wanted to see his daughter.
When Alison Tuskin, who gave evidence in the Launceston Magistrates Court yesterday, searched the girls name given by Mr Minney she found no record of her at the school.
Assistant principal Deaine Coyle was called and Mr Minney was asked for his full name.
After recognising the name Ms Tuskin searched it on google which pulled up an article from The Examiner about Mr Minney's prior offending.
The police were contacted and Mr Minney was kept away from students until they arrived.
Ms Coyle told the court that Mr Minney ``seemed a bit agitated''.
``I was called because he presented in a rather anxious state as well,'' she said.
Mr Minney claiming his daughter was aged in her 20s and was adamant that she was at the school, she said. The court heard the college had about 1400 pupils aged from 16 to 19.
Ms Coyle told police prosecutor Trudy Lusted that about half the students were aged either 16 or 17.
Mr Minney's lawyer Adrian Hall asked about his client's movement at the college.
``Nobody saw him hanging around the gymnasium or something like that?'' he said.
``No reports of that,'' Ms Coyle said.
``You don't allow him near children?''
``That's right,'' she said.
Mr Hall made an application that there was no case for Mr Minney to answer, drawing on Wikipeadia's definition of loitering.
``There is simply no evidence (he went) near any children for a protracted time,'' he said.
In sentencing Magistrate Reg Marron said it was not material whether Mr Minney was near children given the location.
He said it was irrelevant whether Mr Minney was mistaken about his daughter or whether he actually had one. Relying on a Macquarie Dictionary definition of loitering, Mr Marron found there was not enough evidence to support the charge.
He dismissed the case and released Mr Minney from custody.
Mr Hall made an application for costs on behalf of the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania.