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Shock At Ex-Teacher's Sentence

A FORMER teacher described by a prosecutor as a "master pedophile" has been given a lighter jail sentence than his own barrister suggested.
The former Brisbane music teacher was found guilty of 34 counts of indecent dealing with children, including his own infant children and two students, in the early 1980s.
Judge Julie Ryrie said the man used his own children to help him commit indecent acts on two Brisbane private schoolboys.
One student, 13, was given alcohol and pills before being sexually abused on a sailing trip to Lake Cootharaba on the Sunshine Coast.
The man, then in his early 30s, had befriended the boys' mother. He used threats, gifts and emotional blackmail to help him abuse the children.
Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta asked that the man be given a seven-year sentence and defence counsel John Fraser asked for a sentence of four to four-and-a-half years' jail.
But on August 10 in the Brisbane District Court, Judge Ryrie sentenced the man, 54, to a maximum of three years.
Judge Ryrie said she did not consider the man to be anywhere near within the worst category of offenders.
Attorney-General Linda Lavarch will ask the Director of Public Prosecutions for a brief on the case so she can consider a possible appeal on the sentence.
The man is appealing against the conviction.
Mr Vasta had asked the judge to take into account submissions about the former music teacher's past conduct in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Before coming to Queensland, the man had been found guilty by a SA Education Department board of inquiry of offences including fondling students.
He was allowed to resign and in 1980 gained a job with a Brisbane boys' school, where he was in charge of a dormitory. But after complaints that he allowed a boy to shower in his quarters and asked boys to wear towels around their necks, instead of their waists, when going to the showers, he was dismissed.
The teacher then was given a job with a Brisbane Anglican school, despite the previous headmaster alerting the school's principal to the reason for his dismissal.
"It truly displays the brazen nature of offending and shows that the prisoner was prepared to act dishonestly in order to obtain access to children at other institutions," Mr Vasta said.
The teacher had then "picked his mark" at the second Queensland school.
In 1994, the man served three years of an eight-year sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges of sexually abusing six boys while he was a teacher in the Northern Territory.
Mr Vasta rejected claims that he was now rehabilitated after doing a sex offenders' course in jail.
But Judge Ryrie would not take into account his behaviour in South Australia, although she did note his similar offences in the Northern Territory.

The Sunday Mail (Qld) (28-8-2005)
Kay Dibben

Teacher Jailed For Child-Sex Offences

A BRISBANE school principal employed a teacher despite being told by another principal that the man had been sacked after complaints from students and other staff of inappropriate behaviour .
Yesterday the music teacher, a 54-year-old South Australian man, repeatedly shook his head in court as he was jailed for three years for sexual offences against students.
He was convicted by a Brisbane District Court jury on 34 charges of sexually abusing his two infant children and two male students of the school where he taught in 1981-84.
In written sentencing submissions, Crown Prosecutor Sal Vasta said the teacher had been found guilty by a South Australian Department of Education board inquiry in 1978 of offences committed, as a teacher, against a number of students.
The court was told he had subsequently been employed as a boarding master at a Brisbane school in 1980, but had been dismissed after a school chaplain raised concerns and students made complaints, although there was no allegation that he had actually interfered with any boy.
He was then employed by another local school, even though the principal had telephoned his previous employer and been told why he was dismissed.
The court was told the conduct of the principal was a major part of a civil case by the complainants against the Anglican Church.
But Judge Julie Ryrie said that, while she read and noted Mr Vasta's submissions, this antecedent behaviour could not properly be taken into account during yesterday's sentencing procedures for the 1981-to-1984 offences.
However, the man's conviction in 1994 on 15 charges of sexually abusing six boys while he was a teacher in the Northern Territory for which he served three years of an eight-year sentence was accepted.
Last month a jury took a little more than five hours to deliver guilty verdicts on the current offences after a week-long trial, during which jurors heard how the teacher manipulated a then-13-year-old student, ingratiated himself with his single mother, gave him extravagant presents and took him on special trips.
The court was told that the abuse had included sexually explicit conversations, touching and masturbation, and abuse against the man's own infant boy and young daughter. He had later preyed on the 13-year-old boy's younger brother.
Defence barrister John Fraser said his client had completed a two-year sexual offender's treatment program, had undergone private counselling, and had not re-offended in the eight years since his release.
Mr Fraser also said his client had completed a TAFE course as part of his retraining as an electrician, as he could no longer work in the music or production fields with children.
He was also caring for his frail elderly parents in South Australia.
Judge Ryrie sentenced the man to a total of three years' jail, recorded a conviction, and made no recommendation for parole.

Queensland NEwspapers (11-8-2005)
Leanne Edmistone

Sex Predator Faces Second Jail Term

A FORMER Brisbane music teacher yesterday found guilty of 34 child sex offences had previously been jailed for similar offences against students in the Northern Territory.
The Brisbane District Court jury took just over five hours to convict the 54-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, of indecently dealing with a 13-year-old student, his brother and his own two infant children between 1981 and 1984.
During the week-long trial, the court heard the music teacher manipulated the student, now a 36-year-old doctor, played on concerns about his lack of a father and being teased at school to build a relationship with him, and also ingratiated himself with the boy's single mother.
The now-divorced teacher socialised with the boy's family, encouraged a father-son relationship, gave him extravagant presents, helped him build a sailing boat and took him on special trips to Sydney and Lake Cootharaba.
The court heard the sexual abuse included sexually explicit conversations, touching and masturbation, and abuse against the man's own infant baby boy and young daughter. The 13-year-old student was also plied with alcohol and drugs during a sailing trip to Lake Cootharaba.
The convicted pedophile stood expressionless in the dock, while two of his victims sitting in the back of the court cried and smiled as the guilty verdicts were read out.
In making sentence submissions, Crown Prosecutor Sal Vasta said the man had left the Brisbane private school after other complaints had been made, and moved to the Northern Territory where he was convicted in 1994 of similar offences against six teenage boys.
Mr Vasta said the offences included touching, masturbation, sodomy and tying a naked boy to a table and masturbating him in front of other students during a school sleepover. He was jailed for eight years.
He said the current offences were "brazen, confident and conniving", the man had shown no remorse and must be categorised as one of the worst offenders of this type.
Defence barrister John Fraser said his client had not re-offended in the eight years' since his release.
Judge Julie Ryrie remanded the man in custody and adjourned sentencing until July.

AAP (7-6-2005)
Leanne Edmistone

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