Hidden camera teacher to serve time behind bars

A 60-year-old male teacher charged by Child Abuse Squad detectives last year was sentenced to two years and three months’ prison in the District Court on Friday.

The man, who cannot be named, taught at a southern suburbs school when he was charged with a string of offences related to the discovery of a hidden video recording device placed in a student toilet cubicle.

The man had pleaded guilty to 27 counts of indecently recording a child under 13 years, 15 counts of attempting to indecently record a child under 13 years.

Judge Andrew Stavrianou said the teacher, who hid his face from parents of his victims who were in the public gallery, had filmed the children changing after swimming lessons.

“These students had a right to expect, that when they went into that change room, they would be safe,” the judge said.

Judge Stavrianou said parents also had a right to expect their children would be safe at school.

In sentencing, Judge Stavrianou said the teacher had fled the school when the camera was discovered and evaded police for five days.

He read from a nine-page letter the teacher left at his home before fleeing in which he apologised to his family and his victims.

“I expect to burn in hell for my sins,” the man wrote.

“If I could take your grief with me, I would.

“I still can’t understand myself.”

One parent, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke of his horror at learning his child had been indecently filmed and labelled the sentence “a joke”.

“Imagine how I felt?” he said.

“I was at home and then a car pulls up and I see it’s police and the next minute they’re showing me images of my daughter.

“It certainly doesn’t do justice for these kids, it’s just caused a huge problem for these children.

“He [the judge] has taken into consideration his past history, but there’s no consideration for the victim’s lifelong trauma.”

Sentencing on these matters was delayed earlier this year, with the man bailed prior to his final court date.

Police have asked the school the man taught at to not be named, but parents of children identified as having been recorded were kept informed of developments and offered counselling.

The teacher will be eligible for parole after serving 13 and a half months in prison.