A Jewish table tennis champion has been jailed for using his position in the sport to groom a 15-year-old girl for sex.
Former City banker Gary Tendler, 36, of Brentwood, Essex, met the teenager, one of Britain’s elite junior players, at a national tournament in 2007. After swapping mobile phone numbers he molested her several times.
The married father-of-two was a former nominee in the senior sportsperson of the year category in the Maccabi GB sports honours list and had been ranked as high as number 21 in the country by the English Table Tennis Association.
But last Friday at Snaresbrook Crown Court, he was convicted of six charges of sexual activity with a child and jailed for 12 months. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years.
Judge Inigo Bing said the girl was particularly vulnerable when Tendler abused her as she was mourning the death of her mother. When the four-month period of abuse ended, she was so depressed that she twice attempted to overdose on painkillers.
The girl told the court she felt she had been “used like a sex object” after being bombarded with lewd text messages and made to perform sex acts.
Tendler was convicted at an earlier hearing of possessing indecent images of a child after asking the girl to email him nude pictures of herself.
He denied the charges and claimed he did not know the girl was only 15.
During a trip to London’s West End, he plied the youngster with alcohol and molested her in a restaurant toilet.
Police found 12 photographs of the girl posing naked or in her underwear on his computer.
Tendler lost his £150,000-a-year job as a human resources officer for Dutch bank ABN AMRO after he was arrested in October 2007.