Posts Tagged ‘music’


Mills – Paul Edward - Photo

‘Horny’ teacher jailed for sex offence

4 Jun 2013, midnight

A FORMER Albury teacher, who called himself “Mick Horny” and made sexually suggestive online comments to a girl, 14, has been jailed until November next year.

Paul Edward Mills, who taught music at Murray High School, was sentenced by District Court judge Colin Charteris.

He had pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to procure a person under 16, using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to someone under 16 and having child abuse material.

Mills, of Thurgoona, was jailed for from nine to 24 months and will be in prison until at least November 23, next year.

He will have to remain of good behaviour for 3½ years as part of the sentence.

Mills, 46, had been on bail until May 24 and was sentenced in Sydney last Thursday.

He had pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court on February 19.

Mills was suspended that day without pay by the Education Department and was fired the following day and put on a list stating he should not be employed again.

He had been removed from the school and classrooms as soon as the original charges were laid.

An Education Department spokesman said Mills’ performance and conduct had not previously been subject to suspicion.

Mills had been caught after a tip-off from US detectives examining an “inappropriate conversation” with a girl, 15, in Illinois.

Officers from the child exploitation unit posed as a sexually naive girl, 14, and began online communications with Mills.

Mills used the social network name “Mick Horny” and his profile picture was a penis.

He asked sexually inappropriate and explicit questions online during a series of recorded conversations.

They included Mills making sexual instructions to the girl and highly inappropriate comments.

Officers from the child exploitation internet unit went to Mills’ home at 6.50am on July 9 last year with a search warrant and arrested him.

He was found to have child pornography with images of children as young as three.

Mills made full admissions about what he had done but claimed he thought 14 was legal.


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Photo: Nick Moir

Sex abuse teacher jailed 12 years

November 11, 2005 – 3:36PM

Internationally renowned piano teacher Victor Makarov has been jailed for at least 12 years for sexually assaulting three of his students.

The Ukraine-born maestro, now based in Sydney, was found guilty in September of 18 sexual assault offences against three of his pupils.

Makarov, 52, is already serving a maximum 12-year jail term for the abuse of another young victim.

The assaults he was sentenced for today — which included anal intercourse with a minor, indecent assault and committing an act of gross indecency — occurred in the late 1990s.

The boys were aged between 12 and 16 when they were assaulted while under Makarov’s tuition.

District Court Judge Penelope Hock today sentenced Makarov to a minimum 12 years in prison and a maximum term of 16 years, saying he had grossly abused the trust of the boys and their families.

“He engaged in sexually predatory behaviour towards these young boys at a crucial stage of their physical and psychosexual development,” she said.

Makarov will be eligible for parole, with time already served and his sentences partially accumulated, in December 2016.

Abusing boys was in my nature

September 22, 2005

Victor Makarov was a renowned music teacher with a fatal flaw, writes Geesche Jacobsen.

THE BOY was practising the piano with his music teacher, Victor Makarov. Suddenly, the Russian-born professor came up behind him, put his hand inside the boy’s shirt and moved it down towards his genitals. The pants were tight, impeding the teacher’s progress, and the 12-year-old became unsettled, so Makarov stopped.

The lesson continued and at the end Makarov hugged the boy and tried to give him a long, passionate kiss.

The boy, “A”, ran outside where his mother was waiting in the car to take him home. She noticed he was very agitated.

“Mum,” he said, “I think Victor is gay.”

“Why?” his mother asked.

“Because he kissed me on the lips,” A said.

That day, December 5, 2003, was when the career of the internationally known and respected piano teacher began to unravel.

Makarov, 52, had migrated from Ukraine to Sydney in 1998, after being recruited by the private Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. Some of his star students have gone on to establish careers as concert pianists.

It was A’s last lesson with Makarov. Like some others before him, he suddenly stopped attending – a surprise to anyone who knew what a privilege it was to be taken on as one of Makarov’s students.

And that might have been the end of the incident, had A’s parents not encountered the mother of B, a 14-year-old student of Makarov’s, in late January.

They started talking and they told B’s mother their son was no longer taking lessons from Makarov. When she heard what had happened, B’s mother was shocked.

She spoke to her son, who told her Makarov had repeatedly sexually assaulted him. He told of mutual masturbation, watching gay pornography, kissing and anal intercourse.

A few days later the family went to confront Makarov at his home. B insisted on going along to face his abuser.

“You wanted to conquer me,” he told Makarov, “but I am telling you, you have not conquered me. You betrayed my trust and you betrayed the trust of my parents. You wanted to destroy me. You are a very, very sick man and should be punished.”

Makarov did not respond.

B’s parents, still in shock and concerned about publicity, suggested Makarov should leave the country.

Makarov told his employer, the Australian Institute of Music, of the allegations, and B’s parents went to the police. When they charged Makarov, other victims, C, D and E, contacted police with similar reports. The Sydney music community was in shock.

Since then, Makarov has faced four separate trials involving five victims. The first trial, involving A, was aborted for legal reasons. In the three subsequent trials Makarov has been convicted of 26 charges. These range from gross indecency to aggravated indecent assaults and aggravated sexual intercourse with a minor. Yesterday, as the final trial ended, the jury found Makarov guilty of all 10 offences against D and E.

After the trial involving B last year, Makarov was sentenced, on the anniversary of that fateful meeting between the families of A and B, to at least eight years in jail. He is still to be sentenced for the 18 offences against C, D and E.

His modus operandi was cunning. He had won the boys’ trust as their teacher. When they turned 12, he raised the subject of sex. He explained to them that music had much to do with sex and love, and they needed to understand this.

“[Makarov] said that the reason why he’s doing things is because music has so much erotic content or context to it, one has to experience in order to be a better musician,” C told the court.

His offences escalated over time from touching and kissing to intercourse, after which Makarov told one victim: “You are mine now.”

If the boys, whom he swore to secrecy, rejected his advances he accused them of not loving him.

Makarov’s teaching style was authoritarian – much criticised by some in the music community, but yielded results with wins in international competition for some of his top students.

D told the court he had been threatened with further attempts at anal penetration if he did not improve his piano playing.

One did not argue with Makarov. “Absolute obedience” was the price the students had to pay for being taught by him, Judge Megan Latham summed up when sentencing Makarov in January for the crimes against B.

Even Makarov admitted in his evidence he demanded “total dedication” from his students.

As the students grew older and had their first girlfriends, the abuse normally ceased.

His offences were not isolated; they happened hundreds of times. Something occurred in virtually every lesson, some of the former students told the court.

Sometimes more than one boy was involved. At least once he asked two students to perform oral sex on one another.

Students would sometimes be shown music videos when they had private lessons at Makarov’s house. But sometimes they would be shown gay pornography.

Once D, E and another person were watching a porn film when Makarov performed oral sex on E, then masturbated D.

After the allegations were raised, D told Makarov he hated him for what he had done to him. “I know, but it’s in my nature,” the teacher replied.

Makarov admitted to E he knew his actions were wrong, but said he could not “control his genes”.

This is the closest Makarov has come to admitting his guilt. Throughout the trials his defence team tried to convince the juries that the boys had fabricated the evidence.

The students remained firm under fierce cross-examination which also pried into intimate details of their sex lives.

A parent of one student said the support of the police child-protection experts was vital to “keeping them alive” during the legal process.

Makarov’s lawyer claimed the lessons were constantly interrupted, therefore the abuse could not have occurred. The students were lazy or jealous and made up the stories, the juries were told. And, the defence asked, how could they have performed at such high standard if they had been abused?

D told the court the abuse had driven him to gamble and left him with a confused sexual identity. But B said a well-trained pianist learns to concentrate on the music and blocks out all other matters.

Like Makarov, his supporters continue to proclaim his innocence. Some continued to trust him to teach their children even after he was charged.

Makarov continued teaching at the institute until October last year and kept giving private lessons; his bail conditions stipulated he be supervised when in contact with children.

When the allegations first became public, conspiracy theories raged. An unnamed rival was said to have asked the students to fabricate the allegations to destroy Makarov out of professional jealousy. The victims were accused of seeking compensation. Even ethnic allegiances were blamed.

The institute became divided into pro- and anti-Makarov factions. Students, too, were forced to take sides, and some feared that their education would be affected if they associated with those who had made the allegations.

The parents of one victim are still upset by the way the institute handled the matter. “We think the way the institute dealt with that was totally inappropriate.”

The institute, a private organisation, told parents it could not suspend the piano teacher because he was innocent until proven guilty. In government schools it is common practice for teachers to be given non-classroom duties if charged with such serious offences.

The parents said they were very disappointed authorities like the Education Department and the Ombudsman’s Office did not force the institute to do likewise.

Makarov has been in jail since December. He has no access to a piano.


Victor Makarov was charged with 26 offences against five victims, aged between 12 and 17, from July 1998 to December 2003.

.He has already been sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight years, starting in 2004, for eight offences.

.He awaits sentencing for the remaining 18 offences.


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GP wins right to sue over sex abuse

Michael McKenna | September 10, 2008

A GENERAL practitioner has won the right to sue the Anglican Church and South Australian Government over his sexual abuse at a Brisbane private school, as new evidence shows the headmaster was warned that the now-convicted pedophile teacher had been sacked from another school for improper behaviour.

The Queensland Supreme Court yesterday paved the way for the $3.7 million compensation claim, which alleges former South Australian education minister Don Hopgood gave the teacher a glowing reference after rescinding his dismissal from an Adelaide school in 1978, also for “disgraceful and improper conduct”.

The teacher, Gregory Robert Knight, 57, was sentenced to three years’ jail in 2005 after being convicted on more than 20 charges of indecently dealing with the student at St Paul’s School at Bald Hills, in Brisbane’s north, between 1981 and 1983.

It is alleged that Knight was hired to teach music by St Paul’s headmaster Gilbert Case in 1981, despite warnings from his counterpart at exclusive private school Brisbane Boys College that Knight had been sacked a year earlier for “teaching boys (on) how to arouse themselves”.

The former Brisbane Boys headmaster’s statement to lawyers for the GP – who cannot be named for legal reasons – confirming that he warned Mr Case, was yesterday accepted as grounds to extend the statute of limitations to allow the lawsuit to be filed more than 25 years after the offences.

Knight was released from jail late last year and is not a defendant in the civil action.

It is the second high-profile case of child abuse at St Paul’s.

Mr Case, who could not be reached for comment, resigned in disgrace in 2003 after it was revealed he dismissed a student’s allegations of abuse by school counsellor and now-notorious pedophile Kevin “Skippy” Lynch. Lynch, who committed suicide in 1997, abused scores of children at St Paul’s, as well as at Brisbane Grammar School, where he had worked previously.

The GP, now 40, has told the court it was only when allegations were made public of abuse at a Toowoomba school in 2001, and then a year later at St Paul’s, thathe began to reflect on his own abuse.

According to court documents, the GP, who had depression while at medical school, said he began to smoke heroin and marijuana after seeking psychological help.

Over the next few years, he developed a drug addiction, broke up with his wife and was eventually unable to run his practice in NSW. The NSW Medical Board later imposed conditions on his practice. His solicitor, Roger Singh, alleged the Anglican Church negligently hired Knight, failed to supervise him and allowed the student “to undergo tuition whenit ought to have known that such action was likely to result ininjury”.

The court was told that St Paul’s employees and fellow students had taunted the teenager, “indicating sexual activity” between him and Knight.

“The applicant also gave evidence that he had told the headmaster of the abuse by Knight but that he had been rebuked by the headmaster and told that his scholarship and that of his brother could be in jeopardy,” judge Ann Lyons said.

The court has also heard that Knight was sacked from the South Australian public system after a 1978 investigation found him guilty of “disgraceful and improper conduct”.


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Paedophile ordered to pay victim $2.4m

Updated Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:20am AEDT

A paedophile music teacher has been ordered to pay one of his victims just over $2.4 million in damages after a judge found he had been “crippled” by his psychiatric injuries.

But a barrister for the plaintiff said although it was a large sum, no amount of money would ever be enough.

Gary Maxwell Featherstone, who lived in Sydney’s north, pleaded guilty to 12 sex offences involving indecent acts against four boys aged between 11 and 14 in the 1980s.

He is serving a minimum jail term of seven years.

On Friday, NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum awarded $2,405,912 in compensation to one victim, referred to only as XY for legal reasons.

Justice McCallum said it was not clear how Featherstone “manoeuvred himself” into the role of a “special friend”, or what checks were undertaken by government officers who entrusted the boy into his care on weekends.

The boy, who was a ward of the state, estimated Featherstone sexually assaulted him about 300 times over a number of years from the age of 11.

The judgment says on the first night he stayed at Featherstone’s home, he was shown a pornographic movie and made to perform sex acts that he was told later were “a secret”.

He said he did not report the abuse to authorities because he “needed the companionship and affection” which he had not received in a “harsh and brutal” boys home.

“His house was like a paradise for kids … he let us have food, lollies and soft drink whenever we wanted,” he said.

“Although I was completely shocked and sickened by his sexual abuse, Featherstone offered me some care and attention that I had been longing for.

“Life with him was the lesser of two evils.”

The victim had also testified that Featherstone “sold” him to another paedophile for six to eight weeks, during which time both men molested him.

Justice McCallum accepted evidence from a psychiatrist’s report that described how XY “began to lacerate himself within six months of the first episode of abuse”.

The judgment says as an adult it remains impossible for XY to have normal relationships.

Justice McCallum awarded high-end-range general damages of $350,000, saying he remained “terribly impaired in many aspects of his life”.

For economic loss, she ordered Featherstone pay the man more than $2 million because “his capacity to obtain employment was insidiously undermined from an early age and … he is now effectively crippled by his psychiatric illnesses”.

The victim also received $795,000 from the state of NSW in February for the injuries and disabilities he suffered.

Pedophile composer jailed 17 years

  • by: David King
  • From: The Australian
  • November 15, 2006 12:00AM

AS the accomplished composer and convicted pedophile Gary Maxwell Featherstone was led from court to the cells yesterday, the mother of one of his young victims lost her temper.

“Hell is too good for you, Featherstone, but go and rot there anyway,” she yelled.

The conservatorium-trained pianist and former private-school teacher glanced at the woman before being taken to prison for up to 17 years for abusing four young boys in the 1980s.

NSW District Court judge Joseph Gibson described the respected pianist as a predator who targeted vulnerable children and held out little hope for his rehabilitation.

He said the courts “would protect young children in our society” and jailed Featherstone for a minimum of 13 years and a maximum of 17 years.

Featherstone, 57, initially faced 62 charges but pleaded guilty to 12 charges of indecency and sexual acts against four boys aged between 11 and 14 from 1983 to 1989.

Peter Pilkington, 33, who was one of the children abused by Featherstone, waived his legal right to anonymity and said he considered Featherstone “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

“He did this nice ‘I want to help children’ act, but all he wanted was to help himself to his sick sexual games,” he said.

Mr Pilkington was 11 years old when Featherstone befriended him and his brother, who was also a victim, at the western Sydney boys home where they lived. Featherstone took him to his home, to YMCA camps and to nudist beaches where he abused him.

“I thought he was showing his love for me. He said it was our little secret,” Mr Pilkington said. “He passed me on to one of his other friends.”

Mr Pilkington said he was happy with the sentence and encouraged other victims of sexual assault to come forward.

He said the process had come at a physical and mental cost but he would “do it again tomorrow if I had to”.

Featherstone was included in the International Who’s Who in Music in 2000 and listed among the 2000 outstanding musicians of the 20th century in Britain and 500 leaders of influence in the US.

With time already served, Featherstone will be eligible for release in August 2017.

Sex abuse charge teacher ‘used Mintie lure’

September 6, 2004 – 5:32PM

A former Sydney private school teacher allegedly used Minties to entice young boys to go skinny-dipping and sleep naked with him at a youth camp at which he was an instructor in the 1980s.

Gary Maxwell Featherstone is facing 62 charges of child sex abuse and was today refused bail in Central Local Court.

He was arrested on Saturday as he walked free from Sydney’s Long Bay jail, having ended a 12-month sentence for importing about 50,000 child pornographic images.

The 62 charges relate to acts of indecency and intercourse with four boys aged 11 to 16 between the years of 1981 and 1990 at Featherstone’s Sydney home and at various YMCA summer holiday youth camps in and around Sydney.

Police allege at least one victim has identified himself on videos seized from Featherstone’s home.

It’s also alleged that while at a camp in the Richmond area, Featherstone told about 10 boys in his group that he would give them a Mintie if they agreed to swim and sleep naked with him.

Featherstone is alleged to have said: “Everyone gets a Mintie if they go skinny dipping” and later, while camping at a nearby cave, “We are all sleeping in the nude tonight. Who wants to sleep in my sleeping bag? – There’s another Mintie in it”.

A then nine-year-old boy, whose parents were going through a divorce at the time, agreed to it after seeing other children take him up on the offer and was subsequently allegedly assaulted.

Police alleged Featherstone sought permission from the boy’s mother to maintain contact and over a seven-month period the assaults continued as he gave piano and tennis lessons to the boy while a teacher at the Pittwater Grammar School.

Following a weekend away in the Blue Mountains with Featherstone, the boy watched a television current affairs program on paedophilia and decided he no longer wanted to continue the relationship.

It’s alleged Featherstone then called the boy, who was in tears, and said: “Are you going to tell anyone? Don’t tell anyone. It’s our secret.”

Magistrate Allan Moore today refused Featherstone’s bail application, saying it could not be proved that he had been properly rehabilitated during his jail time and no longer posed a risk to society.

“Greater material from professionals is needed to give the court comfort at this point in time,” Mr Moore told the court.

“Without any further material, this court is not of the view that it’s appropriate to grant bail.”

Featherstone’s lawyer Bill O’Brien had argued for bail on the grounds that the child sex abuse offences were alleged to have occurred long before the offences for which he was jailed, which involved no physical contact with children.

The matter will return to Central Local Court on October 26.


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Music teacher jailed for child porn

GEORGIA LONEY, The West Australian January 20, 2010, 5:56 am

A prominent WA music teacher has been jailed for 18 months after 48 pornographic images of young children were found on his home computer.

Cornelius de Munck, 65, of Dunsborough, was charged last September, nearly two years after police found the pornography in November 2007.

In the District Court in Bunbury on Monday, de Munck pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of child pornography.

The court was told de Munck was a senior lecturer in music at the WA Academy of Performing Arts from 1984 to 1997, but taught music privately in the South-West, including at Margaret River High School and Busselton’s MacKillop Catholic College.

He was a prominent vocalist and adjudicated at music competitions.

He stopped teaching voluntarily when his computer was seized by police, the court was told.

Defence counsel John Prior said de Munck had led a blameless life until the child pornography was uncovered.

“He is a highly intelligent man, previously of good character,” he said.

Mr Prior said de Munck looked at the images out of curiosity while experiencing depression, sparked by the death of his son-in-law in 2007.

He had not shared the images or paid for them and expressed his disgust at his own actions.

Police were alerted to the crime after de Munck took one of his computers to a computer repair store.

Mr Prior said de Munck had no previous record. His client had stopped teaching voluntarily, sought rehabilitation and had “significant remorse”.

State prosecutor Katie White pushed for immediate imprisonment and said de Munck had obviously sought out child pornography, not discovered it through “pop-ups” as he first claimed.

Ms White said detectives found de Munck entered search terms including “nymphettes”, “child sex”, “artistic pre-teen nudes” and “baby sex”. He had visited specific child pornography websites, she said.

She said there was one particularly disturbing image of a young girl who was visibly distressed.

Ms White said she accepted the crimes had a “horrific” effect on the man’s wife and three daughters.

Judge Mary Ann Yeats said 48 images were a small amount compared with most child pornography cases, but possession of child pornography created a demand for the abuse of children.

She sentenced him to 18 months jail and made him eligible for parole.

Education Department executive director, professional standards and conduct, Paul O’Connor said the department had taken quick action. On November 8, 2007, de Munck was served with a Section 240 order to stay away from all schools.