Teacher jailed for touching students

By Edward Gay

A teacher at a private Christian school has been jailed in Auckland for inappropriately touching his students. Photo / Thinkstock
A teacher at a private Christian school has been jailed in Auckland for inappropriately touching his students. Photo / Thinkstock

A teacher at a private Christian school has been sentenced to two years in prison after touching 11 of his female students, some as young as nine-years-old.

Allan Ross Randall was a senior teacher at Hebron Christian College until earlier this year.

The parents of some of Randall's victims were at the Auckland District Court today where the 64-year-old was sentenced on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Judge Anne Kiernan said Randall's students were left confused and angry by his offending.

She read through the summary of facts which detailed what each victim went through.

Many of the girls were touched while Randall walked around the classroom inspecting student work.

But what started out as Randall massaging girl's necks in 2007, ended up getting a worse.

Earlier this year Randall placed his hand on a girl's breast and on another occasion, he put his hand up the girl's skirt and rubbed her thigh.

His offending went unreported until March when three of the girls came forward to tell their parents and the police that they had been touched by Randall.

Crown prosecutor Phil Hamlin said the breach of trust by a teacher on his pupils was serious.

He said many of Randall's female students started wearing more clothes to school to stop him putting his hands inside their school uniform.

Mr Hamlin read from one of the victim's statements: "You were supposed to look after us and teach us - not do what you did.''

His lawyer Anthony Rogers told the court that his client had viewed all 11 police video interviews with the girls which was an "extremely distressing experience''.

"What he has done has been a gross breach of trust. It has been a gross betrayal.''

Mr Rogers said his client apologised for the offending but asked for a sentence of home detention.

He said Randall had pleaded guilty early, attended a restorative justice program with four of the parents of his victims and had sought psychological help.

Mr Rogers said his client had an addiction to pornography.

"It started in the years even before the internet became available. The accused looked at websites of a nudist nature and a modelling nature and other material and it has become an addiction.''

Randall had been caught looking at pornography on a school computer by the deputy principal in 2006.

The school interviewed him and his wife but did not take the matter to the board of trustees.

Mr Rogers said Randall went back to the website a week later but the matter was not followed up by the school.

Randall offered to resign but the principal did not accept his resignation.

Outside court, principal Geoff Matthews said Randall had "sullied'' the reputation of his school.

"We are a very safe school, despite what happened with one man.''

He said parents had rallied around the school once they became aware of Randall's offending and the school roll had increased.

Mr Matthews said the students abused by Randall were now doing well.

"It is obviously a very upsetting thing that has happened.''

Randall had earlier been given name suppression to protect the identity of his victims. However, some of the parents of his victims wrote to Judge Kiernan and asked her to release his name.

Judge Kiernan also decided to allow the media to report the name of the school so other schools did not fall under suspicion.

- APNZ

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