According to an ABC News report, a once-respected primary school teacher in Perth with 38 years’ service has been jailed for secretly recording his young students while they were getting changed for swimming lessons.
The 60-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect his victims, pleaded guilty to 42 charges of indecently recording, or attempting to indecently record, girls aged between 9 and 13.
The offences, which happened in March 2014 and again in March 2016, involved him hiding a pen camera in a bomber jacket, which he placed inside a disabled school toilet.
Some of the children were recorded naked, while others were captured in their underwear.
Not all victims have been able to be identified.
The offences were uncovered when another staff member found the camera and recognised the teacher in the footage.
He then fled and while on the run from police for five days, wrote a nine-page letter, in which he said he could not understand why he committed the offences and that he “expected to burn in hell” for his “sins.”
“I don’t know why I did this. I’ve lost any hope of teaching again,” he said.
The District Court was told the man had a “troubled upbringing” that was marred by violence and abuse, and at the time of the offences he was suffering severe anxiety and depression.
Judge Andrew Stavrianou accepted the man had psychological problems which reduced his moral culpability, but he said the offences were so serious only a term of immediate imprisonment was appropriate.
“You were well-regarded, however, the students in this case had a right to expect when they went into the changeroom that they would be safe,” he told the man.
“Similarly, parents would expect when their children went to school they would be safe.
“Your conduct was deliberate and intentional … each of those victims had their privacy violated.”
However, he accepted that the man was remorseful and noted that he had “clearly” lost his career and any hope of working with children ever again.
Judge Stavrianou imposed a sentence of two years and three months in jail and the man will have to serve half the term before he can be released.