SA court told mother photographed abuse of daughter, 10, to please boyfriend — who was a teacher
A mother who made “disturbing and degrading” child pornography with her daughter, 10, to please her teacher
boyfriend has violated every parental instinct, a court has heard.
Prosecutors today asked the District Court to rank the crimes of the mother, 35, and the teacher, 37, among
the most serious offences committed against vulnerable children.
John Wells, prosecuting, said the mother took photos of herself abusing the girl in their bathroom and sent
them to the teacher — who later joined them for further deviant behaviour in the bedroom.
“This is disturbing and degrading offending that can only be seen as unambiguously grave and the grossest breach of trust,” he said.
“He was a teacher, she was the natural mother of the victim — her behaviour violates every parental instinct and represents a total moral failure.
“She not only failed to protect her daughter, but she herself provided the prelude to the later, more active sexual offending
perpetrated by both of them.”
In March last year, the couple were charged with multiple child pornography, rape and unlawful sexual intercourse offences .
Prosecutors alleged the duo had engaged in sex acts with the woman’s daughter, 10, to create pornographic images.
They had further alleged other images, recovered from his computer, depicted the woman’s other daughter, 3, and son in the room as the abuse occurred.
The couple’s arrest inflamed the ongoing Education Department child sex abuse scandal which resulted in the Debelle inquiry.
In June, parents from the school at which the teacher worked told The Advertiser he was extremely popular and
“considered a role model” by their children .
In September, the teacher confessed to four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of
producing child pornography in a plea bargain with prosecutors.
His partner pleaded guilty to five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, one aggravated count of
indecent assault and two aggravated accounts of producing child pornography.
The Advertiser subsequently revealed the couple’s arrests came about due to a separate police investigation into an
unrelated alleged sexual predator.
A detective investigating claims a person was contacting teenagers online came across the teacher — who was allegedly
pretending to be a child and seeking out chats.
The couple were to face sentencing submissions last month but that hearing was postponed when the teacher
pleaded guilty to an additional aggravated charge of possessing child pornography.
Today Greg Mead, SC, for the mother, said his client’s offending was driven by “deep feelings of inadequacy and
insecurity” and her “dependency on having a relationship”.
He said she was “inordinately afraid of loneliness” and, when the teacher introduced her to an “abberant”
sexual lifestyle, went along with it for fear of losing him.
Mr Mead said the offending began when the teacher sent his client a text asking for a photo, and she
responded by photographing herself performing sex acts on her 10-year-old.
“(The teacher) did not ask for that specifically, but she felt she had to provide something that would fulfil his wishes,” he said.
“It is not the case she did this for some sort of sexual satisfaction, it’s because she perceived this was the way
to please her partner and keep him in the relationship.
“She placed her personal psychological need to maintain her relationship above her daughter’s welfare.”
Mr Mead said the mother was deeply ashamed, remorseful and suffering the “exquisite personal torture” of
knowing she had forever ruined her relationship with her daughter.
Scott Henchliffe, for the teacher, conceded his client had a long and “atypical” sexual history, and had believed
the mother honestly shared his interests.
He said receiving the photos had prompted “an incident of deluded sexual experimentation” which the teacher now realised was wrong.
“His is genuinely remorseful for his appalling conduct ... he really does have good
insight into the wickedness of what he has done,” he said.
Judge Stretton remanded the couple in custody for sentencing tomorrow.