Child rapist kept working despite 'clear warning signs'

12:21 pm on 11 March 2016

A human rights lawyer is calling for an independent inquiry after child rapist Robert Burrett was allowed to keep working at schools despite "clear warning signs".


Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Amanda Hill said it was unacceptable Burrett had been able to move from school to school.

"The failure is to allow someone who is exhibiting clear warning signs of grooming children and of teaching and of drunkenness to leave a school quietly," she said. "And to be able to pick up employment and to go to another school where he had what appear to be fake references."

Burrett, 64, is awaiting sentencing next month for sexually abusing a dozen girls aged between five and 12.

He had been a teacher and principal at several schools around the country before working in Christchurch as a school caretaker and special needs bus driver.

He pleaded guilty last month to charges including indecent assault, sexual violation including rape, and possession of objectionable publications.

A Ministry of Education spokesperson said schools were independent and the ministry could only act on information it received.