Teacher downloaded child porn

BY ZARA DAWTREY COURT REPORTER – The Examiner‎

10 Nov, 2010 08:26 AM

A FORMER St Patrick’s College science teacher downloaded 37 images of children in sexual and pornographic poses while employed at the school.

Appearing before the Launceston Magistrates Court yesterday after being caught in an Interpol sting, John Phillip Court, 48, of Pomona Road, Riverside, pleaded guilty to using the internet to access child pornography.

Court resigned from his job as a maths and science teacher at the Launceston secondary school early last month.

He was charged by the Australian Federal Police after the international police agency caught him accessing a child abuse website originating from Luxembourg between February and March last year.

Interpol notified the federal police and a search warrant was executed on Court’s home.

He was found to have accessed child-abuse material, including images depicting simulated sexual contact between children.

He told police he had just been “curious” but Magistrate Michael Brett yesterday slammed that defence – particularly given Court had visited the website and its abusive images multiple times during the course of his offending.

“The real evil is that you contributed to the market for such images,” Mr Brett told him.

The magistrate said that as a teacher Court should have been especially aware of the horrific impact child pornography had on its young victims.

“I don’t imagine you’ll teach children again,” Mr Brett told him.

He also said he could not be satisfied there was no risk Court would not reoffend.

“As a teacher, you must’ve been aware of how wrong this was,” he said.

“(The fact that you viewed these images regardless) leaves me with a sense of disquiet.”

As a result he ordered Court’s name be place on the Community Protection Sex Offender Register for five years.

He also ordered he serve two months’ jail wholly suspended on the condition he be of good behaviour for two years.

St Patrick’s College principal Simon Cobiac yesterday expressed shock over the charge and resulting guilty plea.

“John Court resigned for `personal reasons’ in early October,” Mr Cobiac said.

“We had no knowledge of this charge – or of his court appearance today.”

 

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