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Truly chilling: Teacher’s sex acts against students ‘a smorgasbord of offending’

A teacher whose “truly chilling” sex offences included online grooming and using pictures of his own students in fantasy stories about sexual abuse has been jailed for four years.

Feb 02, 2024, updated Feb 02, 2024
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In this photo illustration, the digital assistant owned by Apple, Siri, logo seen displayed on a smartphone with an Artificial intelligence (AI) chip and symbol in the background. (Photo by Budrul Chukrut / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) *** Strictly for editorial news purposes only ***

The 43-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty on Monday in Brisbane District Court to grooming a child under 16, procuring a child under 16 to commit indecent acts and exposing himself to a child.

He also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of accessing, making and distributing child exploitation material.

The teacher’s sentence was adjourned to Thursday to allow his defence to call a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

The court heard he had worked as the head of sport at a school in the city’s northwest prior to his arrest in July 2021.

Judge William Everson said the educator had engaged in a “smorgasbord of offending”.

He recorded videos of his phone while used the application Snapchat to pretend to be a 16-year-old boy while encouraging a 13-year-old girl to produce explicit material of herself and responded with a video of himself performing a sex act.

He also secretly took non-explicit photos of 13-year-old students under his care and attached them to fantasy stories he had written about sexually abusing children.

He took these 107 images and sent them to 49 people along with his stories in which he said he was a teacher and fantasised about sexually assaulting 12-year-old girls at a school camp.

Police found the man collected from other sources 112,000 images along with 1000 videos totalling more than 24 hours of footage that included children as young as three years old being sexually assaulted.

Judge Everson said he had an “extensive and disturbing catalogue of child exploitation material” but his deviance went further than his secret life on the internet.

“You exploited children that you taught, you used images of them as props for your sexual fantasies,” he said.

Judge Everson said the man was also happy to corrupt and entrap a 13-year-old girl over Snapchat and record her without her knowledge.

“For someone identified (in character references) as compassionate and who saw teaching as your vocation, this is a most disturbing factor,” he said.

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Crown prosecutor Elise Adams said the teacher should be jailed for up to eight years as he had personally abused children.

His barrister Mark McCarthy said his client should serve less than four years due as he had engaged in a sex offender program.

Judge Everson rejected psychologist Janelle Bardsley’s opinion that the offender did not have a paedophilic disorder and sided with psychiatrist Dr Fred Ian Curtis in that he was sexually attracted to children.

He was found to be remorseful but had provided police with only some of the passwords to his electronic devices.

Judge Everson found his autism spectrum disorder was not severe and only reduced his culpability to a degree.

He was sentenced to four years imprisonment to be suspended after 18 months and he will be released in under 11 months with 210 days already served.

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