Nicolaas Ockert Bester

Posted: October 17, 2012 by Serendipity in Location, Photo, Sentenced, Tasmania
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Magistrate Rheinburger has sentenced Bester to four months in jail for producing child exploitation material after he wrote offensive comments on social media about his sexual relationship with a former student, saying it was “awesome”. He will serve the full four months.

Sex abuse teacher on parole

Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:35am AEST

A former Hobart high school teacher jailed for sexually abusing a teenage student has been released on parole.

The Parole Board ruled there was only a low to moderate risk Nicolaas Ockert Bester would reoffend.

In August 2011, the then 59-year-old was convicted of maintaining a sexual relationship with a 15-year-student and possessing child exploitation material and sentenced to two years and 10 months in jail.

The former head of maths and science at private girls school St Michaels Collegiate will remain on parole until May next year.

While on parole, Bester is not allowed to be in the company of a person under 16 without the presence on an authorised person.

Teacher jailed over sex with student

  • From: AAP
  • August 12, 2011 4:46PM

AN elite Hobart school teacher who had sex with a 16-year-old student up to 30 times has been jailed for two years and 10 months.

Nicolaas Ockert Bester, a 58-year-old former science teacher at St Michael’s Collegiate School in Hobart, pleaded guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 17.

Bester first befriended the girl, who cannot be named, after learning she was battling an eating disorder in March last year.

He gave her keys to his office and told her she could beat the illness by herself.

When the girl’s parents became concerned about the advice he was giving her, Bester was barred by the school from contacting her.

Nevertheless, Bester and the girl began a sexual relationship in June, meeting at the school, at a friend’s house and a Hobart hotel.

The two had sex a total of between 20 and 30 times, with Bester using false profiles on social networking site Facebook to communicate with the girl.

When confronted by the girl’s parents about the relationship and told “he couldn’t deny it”, Bester replied: “I can’t, but she wanted it.”

In the Tasmanian Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Helen Wood sentenced Bester to two years and ten months in prison.

The judge said the girl “reluctantly participated in the sexual relationship”, but did not always express her concerns.

“She felt angry at herself for allowing it to happen and attempted self-harm,” the judge said.

Justice Wood said the case involved a “grave breach of trust”, noting that the girl had come to Bester when she was emotionally and psychologically vulnerable.

The judge said she took into account Bester’s early guilty plea, his low-grade depressive illness, and said he deeply regretted the relationship.

Bester also pleaded guilty to possessing child exploitation material over 28 images found on his computer.

He will be eligible for parole in December, 2012.

Teacher admits sex shame

DAVID KILLICK   |   July 19, 2011 01.00am

A SENIOR teacher at a Tasmanian girls’ school had sex with a vulnerable teenage student up to 30 times in places including his office, the school staffroom and a Hobart hotel.

Part-time church organist Nicolaas Ockert Bester, 58, of Mt Nelson, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 17 and possessing child exploitation material.

The former head of science at Hobart’s St Michael’s Collegiate School is now in jail awaiting sentencing for his crimes, which took place between June and December last year.

Crown prosecutor Jackie Hartnett yesterday told the court the 15-year-old girl had turned to Bester for advice in April last year while struggling with an eating disorder.

He gave her a key to his office and offered it to her as a safe place to go.

When her parents raised concerns about their relationship, the school agreed and Bester admitted that advice he had given the girl about her eating disorder had been “misguided and inappropriate”, the court heard.

In June last year, she told Bester she helped deal with stress by drawing herself naked and he asked her for one of the sketches, which she gave him.

Later, after asking the girl how he could thank her for the sketch, he took her to an empty classroom, where he handed her two cards marked “yes” and “no” and told her he was going to undress.

Bester directed the girl to an adjoining room and asked her to undress and to slip one of the cards under the door to indicate whether she was going to come out.

When the card marked “yes” appeared, he unlocked the door.

The girl emerged in her underwear and the pair kissed and cuddled.

Bester set up two Facebook pages and the pair exchanged intimate notes to each other via the social networking site, Ms Hartnett said.

They began to meet weekly in his office, where they undressed and he performed sexual acts on her.

On August 6 last year, he gave the girl alcohol and they had intercourse in his office.

The pair began to meet regularly before and after school and at weekends to have sex in his office and in the school’s staffroom, at a house in Sandy Bay and at a Hobart hotel.

On some occasions when Bester picked her up in his car, he made her wear a hooded top he provided so she would not be recognised. He also told her to tell people she was his daughter if questioned.

Ms Hartnett said the girl felt trapped and conflicted and ended the relationship in December and reported it to the school in April this year.

Bester was stood down immediately and the school called police. He was sacked when charges were laid.

The court heard that the girl later told her parents and showed them gifts of clothes and jewellery Bester had given her.

Her parents drove to his home and confronted him about the relationship in front of his wife.

Bester initially denied their claims but then admitted the relationship, saying “she wanted it”. When interviewed by police, Bester admitted having sex with the girl 20 to 30 times, despite knowing she was vulnerable.

Police searched his house and car and found letters from the girl, two cards marked “yes” and “no” and a sketch of the girl naked.

They also found 29 images of child pornography on Bester’s home computer. Some images showed children and adults engaging in sexual acts.

“This is a serious matter,” Ms Hartnett told the court. “The victim statement shows evidence of significant impact on the complainant and her family as a result of these crimes.

“It involved a breach of the trust placed by the complainant in a teacher. This is someone she turned to for help.”

Defence lawyer Kim Baumeler told the court Bester had emigrated from South Africa in 1987 to give his children a better life and had worked at the Hutchins School before starting at Collegiate in 1992.

Bester’s crimes had cost him his job, his marriage and his relationship with his now-adult children and he was now essentially bankrupt, she said.

“The charges have had a catastrophic effect on everyone concerned. The accused describes himself as having lost everything,” she told the court.

“The bringing of these allegations has estranged him from the whole of his family.

“His instructions to me are that he allowed his emotions to cloud his judgment and he regrets that and says he should not have allowed it to happen.”

Ms Baumeler said Bester was remorseful but the victim had been a willing participant in the relationship.

Bester, who has no previous convictions, will be sentenced by Justice Helen Wood on August 3.

Court told of teacher’s tryst with teenage schoolgirl

  • From: AAP
  • July 18, 2011 1:03PM

A HOBART teacher preyed on a vulnerable 16-year-old student, going on to have regular sex with her after their elite school developed serious concerns about their relationship, a court has been told.

Nicolaas Ockert Bester, a 58-year-old former maths and science teacher at St Michael’s Collegiate School, had pleaded guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 17 and possessing child exploitation material.

In the Tasmanian Supreme Court in Hobart today, Crown Prosecutor Jackie Hartnett said Bester and the girl had sexual intercourse between 20 and 30 times.

The school was made aware of Bester having inappropriate dealings with the girl before the sexual relationship began, including allowing her access to his office and telling her she could deal with her eating disorder on her own.

He was banned from seeing the girl but kept his job, and was only stood down when police questioning began.

He was sacked after he was charged.

Bester went to great lengths to hide the relationship, including getting the girl to wear a hoodie when visiting him.

They met at the school on weekends and at night, and on one occasion they met at a Hobart hotel, Ms Hartnett said.

They also communicated on Facebook, with Bester using a number of false profiles to hide his contact with the girl.

Ms Hartnett said the girl had been struggling with anorexia, and had turned to Bester for support.

“She was a vulnerable young girl at the time the relationship started – a fact known by the accused,” she said.

Ms Hartnett said 28 photos of child exploitation material had been found on Bester’s computer while he was being investigated.

Bester’s lawyer Kim Baumeler said his client’s relationship with his family and his career had been ruined.

Bester’s wife had left him, and the only contact he had with his children was now “acrimonious”, she said.

Justice Helen Wood will sentence Bester on August 3.

Collegiate teacher’s sex guilt

DAVID KILLICK   |   May 23, 2011 11.24am

A FORMER senior Collegiate teacher will plead guilty to child sex offences, the Hobart Magistrate’s Court heard today.

Nicolaas Ockert Bester, 58, of Mt Nelson, appeared on four charges before Magistrate Chris Webster this morning.

His lawyer Kim Baumeler said he would plead guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person in August last year and possessing child pornography in April.

Two charges of having sexual intercourse with a young person under the age of 17 years were dismissed by the magistrate.

Bester was bailed to reappear in court on July 18.

The well-known church organist was sacked as head of the school’s science and maths faculty at the elite girls school – where fees for year 12 students exceed $12,000 a year – after his arrest in April.

St Michael’s Collegiate principal Robyn Kronenberg this morning issued a statement on the case.

“The events surrounding the charging by Tasmania Police on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 of a former senior school teacher have been of great concern for the staff, students and parents of our school,” she said.

“I am obviously constrained by law in what I can say regarding this matter, however, I want to make it clear that it was the school who contacted the police as we are required to do under the mandatory reporting laws in Tasmania as soon as we became aware of the allegations.

“Based on clear evidence that the teacher involved had breached our teacher code of conduct without hesitation the decision was made to terminate his employment immediately.

“At all times the school has had the best interests  of the student involved uppermost in our minds and actions. We have endeavoured to protect and support the student and her family.

“Our critical incident team has worked with me to determine our response to this situation and ensure that those most directly affected were helped in the most appropriate manner.

“We have been able to offer support and counselling to staff, students and family members who felt concerned or distressed by the news.”


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  1. Johnson says:

    This filthy man used to make comments about breasts of Collegiate school girls when I was at Hutchins (where he worked when he first escaped South Africa). I was surprised when I heard he’d gotten a job at Collegiate. He was a very racist man “it’s not my fault they’re black” he used to tell us. At Hutchins his boss was John Bednall. Bednall was later sacked for donwloading child abuse images

  2. Lynn says:

    And this man lived in UTAS on campus accommodation in 2015. Seriously wrong.

  3. Petra Affony says:

    I’ve recently moved into Mt. Nelson from Yass, NSW, with 2 children aged 3 and 7. Could someone give me the address so i can put my mind at rest?

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