10 Jun 2015

Masturbating teacher breached trust

5:52 pm on 10 June 2015

A former teacher who masturbated in an empty Auckland classroom has been sentenced to 80 hours community work and supervision.

Auckland District Court

Auckland District Court Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The man was found guilty at Auckland District Court last month of an indecent act in a public place.

He had earlier admitted he looked at up to 27 pornographic websites during the lunchbreak on a school computer in June 2013.

His lawyer Richard Earwaker said that the man had lost his 30 year teaching career and reputation in the community.

Auckland District Court Judge Ann Kiernan said that while the man did not intend to be seen, the crime was a breach of trust.

"You were a senior and respected teacher, masturbating while watching pornography in a classroom which could have been accessed by students or staff of the school and you were seen by one student," she said.

The judge said the man's nine-month supervision would require that he be assessed to see whether any treatment or counselling was required.

Judge Kiernan decided the man's name should be made public, but because the defence is appealing that decision, it remains suppressed.

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