THE mother of fugitive teacher Chris Fotis wants him to call home and assure her he is safe after his failure to appear before the royal commission into the responses to child abuse.
Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr Fotis, 52, after his failure to appear before the commission in Sydney on Tuesday to give evidence about his time teaching at Knox Grammar in the 1980s, when he was among teachers who are now suspected of child abuse.
Lois Fotis said she did not know her son’s whereabouts, nor did she know about the allegations raised at the royal commission.
‘‘No I didn’t,’’ she said from her Nelson Bay home at Port Stephens on Friday.
Her partner, Richard, said: ‘‘It was last Tuesday week when he left here. He didn’t say anything. He should have rung her at least to say he was all right.’’
He said they had been unaware of evidence before the commission that Knox asked Mr Fotis to leave the school in 1989 after he was caught masturbating outside a school in North Ryde; nor were they aware that Knox old boys and former teacher Timothy Hawkes, who is now the headmaster of the Kings School, suspected Mr Fotis may have been a masked attacker who hid under a bed before molesting a boy.
Richard said Mr Fotis had been cleared of molesting two girls in Geelong but a newspaper had ‘‘thrashed him unmercifully’’ in 2003 before he was exonerated.
Lois Fotis and her partner thought Mr Fotis may be in Sydney, where he often stayed with friends, but they did not know where. They wanted him to call home to assure them he was safe and well.
‘‘Yes, that’s all we want to know,’’ Richard said.
Mr Fotis has been an active sportsman and was secretary of the Nelson Bay Tennis Club last year.
‘‘If I knew about this, he would have been gone long ago,’’ club president Rod Stubbs said.
The club has more than 100 juniors but Mr Stubbs said Mr Fotis had ‘‘never had any contact with any of the kids ... he had no dealings with kids’’.