A TEACHER who split from his wife and started a sexual relationship with a teenage student faces jail.
The 48-year-old teacher, a father of five who had admitted his offending to police, yesterday pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool County Court to nine charges involving the girl, who was 15 and 16 years old at the time.
Judge Mark Taft suppressed the teacher’s name to protect the student.
The victim’s mother said in a victim impact statement her life and relationship with her daughter would never be the same again.
She said her faith and trust in people of authority had been absolutely shattered and she never suspected such evil from a teacher.
The charges involved the teacher and girl kissing, having intercourse and oral sex and sending each other naked “selfies”.
When interviewed by police early this year, the teacher said he was slightly obsessed by the girl, was flattered by the attention and he loved the victim.
He said he should have known better, but that once they kissed he couldn’t get out of or unravel the relationship.
The man said he didn’t blame her, but claimed she encouraged him to be part of a relationship.
The teacher, who the court heard had also been a victim of paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, said the girl was very persuasive and he couldn’t resist her.
The offences were committed at Warrnambool, Port Fairy and other smaller district towns.
The victim told police the pair had only kissed and she had sent him photos.
She said she was now in the care of the Department of Human Services.
Crown prosecutor Pat Bourke said the teacher and the student had been in a relationship from the middle of last year until January 8 this year, when police were notified.
He said the teacher and student had communicated on social media for the past three years but that progressed after the teacher and his wife separated in June last year.
Mr Bourke said the man had been warned by his wife and a school supervisor about having social media contact with the girl, but he continued.
In June last year the student told the teacher on Skype she would kiss him at school, which happened twice in following days.
The teacher then sent intimate images to the girl and they kissed again on her 16th birthday late last year.
They twice had sex in a neighbour’s front yard, kissed on Christmas Day, he encouraged her to send him naked images of herself which she did and they had sex in a swag at Port Fairy overnight on New Year’s Eve.
Defence counsel Jane Dixon said the only explanation her client had was he and the student became infatuated with each other.
She said the teacher was going through a life crisis leading up to mid-last year as he was managing two farms, his own farm and also teaching full-time.
Ms Dixon submitted that an immediate jail term of 12 months would be appropriate.
Judge Taft replied that appeared far from adequate. He remanded the teacher in custody and said he would impose a sentence in coming days.