The West

Harvey denies removing pool fencing
Mark Harvey is a former Fremantle coach and an Essendon playing great. Picture: The West Australian

Former Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has denied not caring “one iota” about fencing safety rules when he installed a pool in which a toddler drowned.

Three-year-old Lauren Harris drowned in the pool at the rented Melbourne home in September 2008.

The Essendon home was owned by Mr Harvey, a former Fremantle coach and an Essendon playing great.

At an inquest into Lauren’s death today, Justin Willee, a lawyer for the pool seller and installer at 21st Century Pools, suggested that in 1996 when Mr Harvey had the pool installed, he did not care “one iota” about fencing safety requirements.

Mr Harvey, who appeared in court via videolink from Perth, said: “That’s not right.”

Mr Harvey has been recalled to give evidence at the inquest after testifying in November last year.

He denied a number of other allegations put to him today, including that he had removed metal fencing around the pool and replaced it with timber or lattice.

Mr Harvey also denied that he moved and rebuilt a barbecue, which other witnesses have said was a likely point for Lauren to enter the pool area.

He said last year he had been told it was okay to fill the pool by someone at the pool building company.

Mr Harvey was asked today if that evidence was a “figment of his imagination”.

He replied: “No, no.”

Mr Harvey restated his previous evidence that he knew John Constance, who sold him the pool, very well and believed he would take care of everything.

Mr Harvey’s wife Donna also told the inquest she believed Mr Constance would take care of everything, including a permit.

Mrs Harvey’s evidence to the Victorian Coroners Court inquest continues on Friday.

The West Australian

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