Stratford – Mark Robert - Photo.

‘Deplorable’ drama teacher jailed for secretly filming students

August 9, 2010

A former drama teacher at an exclusive Melbourne school who chose students from a pupil database then filmed them undressing with a camera hidden under his desk has been jailed for 21 months.

Mark Robert Stratford, 49, who acted in the movie Chopper and has written for TV soap Neighbours, asked the girls to change into a “skimpy” dress in his office, the Victorian County Court heard today.

He filmed three girls, all aged under 16, between 2008 and early 2009.

Stratford, who played a prison classification officer in Chopper, was also found with child pornography on his computer.

He pleaded guilty to producing child pornography, possessing child pornography and installing a surveillance device without consent.

Judge Phillip Coish said Stratford would have been aware of the wrongfulness of his actions.

“The circumstances of the offence of producing child pornography involved a gross breach of trust,” Judge Coish said.

“There is a degree of planning and sophistication involved in the offending.

“The exploitation of children for sexual gratification is deplorable.”

Judge Coish ordered Stratford serve a non-parole period of 14 months.

He will be a registered sexual offender for 15 years.


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