Gregory John Coupland

Posted: October 22, 2012 by Serendipity in Location, NSW, Photo
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Ex-Kings School teacher jailed for child pornography

Rachel Olding

June 22, 2012 – 5:51PM

A former teacher at an exclusive Sydney boys school has been sentenced to more than two years in jail for collecting and sharing tens of thousands of images of child pornography.

Gregory John Coupland, 42, was working as a year 5 teacher at the Kings School in Parramatta when he was arrested in 2011 following an Australian Federal Police sting on an online child porn ring.

This afternoon in the Downing Centre Court he was sentenced after pleading guilty to three charges relating to the accessing, sharing and possession of pornographic material depicting boys and girls around the ages of eight to 15.

He was sentenced to between one year and four months and two years and eight months for the charges. Two will be served concurrently and one will be served in addition.

He will spend a minimum of 32 months in jail without parole.

Judge Laura Wells took into account Coupland’s early guilty plea but said she was not fully satisfied he understood the seriousness of his behaviour nor expressed remorse for the right reasons. She believed Coupland was “less than forthright and honest” when questioned about his actions.

During the trial, Coupland said he was not aware the children in the images were under 18 and that he was not aroused or interested in young boys.

He said he had first “stumbled” on child pornography after he looked up a nudist resort website about five years ago.

“Perhaps that’s how he found these child porn websites,” Judge Wells said. “[But it] most certainly doesn’t excuse the extensive period, indeed the years of abuse by him.”

Judge Wells said that, after viewing some of the material “for even the shortest period of time”, it became apparent that the material was sexual and, on occasion, violent in nature.

Coupland also had chat logs, usernames and passwords that were sexually explicit in nature.

The court heard Coupland, who acted as a photographer at school sporting events, had collected 38,234 still images, 2769 multimedia files and 372 literature files classified as child pornography.

The majority of these were on a laptop police found at a Forestville scout hall where Coupland was a scout leader.

She noted that there was no evidence whatsoever that he ever engaged in sexual acts with boys or used images of boys from the Kings School or from the scout group for pornographic reasons.

The court heard that Coupland came from a good family, was very well respected in the community and was, according to his father, a “brilliant motivator and educator”.

Coupland had suffered from a chronic and severe skin condition, psoriasis, since the age of two, which had made him very self conscious and prevented him from showing parts of his body or entering into a relationship but Judge Wells said this could not excuse his actions.

The court heard Coupland’s brother had discovered files on his computer in February 2010, leading him to confess to his parents that he had been viewing nude images of children.

It was agreed that he would seek professional help but he later stopped attending sessions with a psychiatrist and resumed viewing the images.

This “demonstrated a willingness to persist over time”, Judge Wells said, and “he deceived those closest to him and the wider community where he was well regarded”.

Most of all, Judge Wells said, he had done “lasting damage” to the children involved.

“Each of those children is a victim and has been adversely affected by their exploitation and abuse,” she said.

Coupland’s earliest release date is February 20, 2015.

Forestville teacher and scout leader charged as part of child-abuse ring

15 Jun 11 @ 09:09am

Gregory John Coupland photographed by the Daily in 2008.

A FORESTVILLE scout leader and primary school teacher has been charged with several child pornography offences following an investigation by the Australian Federal Police.

Gregory John Coupland, 40, has been charged with using the internet to view child pornography and to make it accessible, and with possessing child pornography.

Mr Coupland was a primary school teacher at King’s School at Parramatta until his arrest last month and leader of the 1st Forestville Scout troop.

He has been granted conditional bail and has resigned from King’s School.

The headmaster of King’s School said he had been assured by the police that no child at the school had been at risk.

Mr Coupland was one of 11 men arrested following a four-month investigation by the Australian Federal Police into peer-to-peer swapping of images of child pornography.

Covert police operatives spent four months infiltrating the network, secretly taking the place of those they arrested to allow them to delve deeper into the group of men aged between 26 and 67 who were sharing images and videos of the sexual abuse of children as young as four.

The organisation, which used complex peer-to-peer software rather than a traditional central server to make it harder for law enforcement agencies to uncover the material, is the first of its kind closed down by the multinational Virtual Global Taskforce, chaired by the Australian Federal Police.

The men, many of whom had direct access to children on a daily basis, included an IT specialist, security worker and a convicted sex offender, as well as a farmer.


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