School tied to sex case fights for secrecy

By Sandra Conchie -
Andrew Loader. Photo / Supplied
Andrew Loader. Photo / Supplied

The school that used to employ a senior Tauranga teacher facing a charge under the Prostitution Reform Act is fighting to keep its identity secret.

Andrew Loader, 49, who appeared in the Tauranga District Court on Monday before Judge Robert Wolff, is accused of paying a 16-year-old girl to perform sexual services for him.

Until now the identity of the school where Loader worked when the charge was laid has been suppressed by a court order.

Loader's identity was able to be made public last month after the Bay of Plenty Times successfully argued that name suppression should lapse.

The school's lawyer, Tony Rickard-Simms, argued yesterday for continuation of the interim suppression order in relation to his client until there was final determination on the charge.

Mr Rickard-Simms said the school was concerned publication would damage its reputation as there had already been some impact resulting from Twitter and Facebook communications after Loader's identity was revealed.

He said affidavits from the school authorities confirmed that they had had to field several calls from concerned parents asking questions about whether their children were safe and other schools in the area had also had similar inquiries.

Judge Wolff said it was clear the school had no responsibility for Loader's alleged offending nor was there any connection with the alleged offending.

However, the judge said, although he acknowledged the school's concerns to some extent "the horse had already bolted" and continuing suppression would not be fair to other schools that might also be affected by the lack of publicity.

Judge Wolff said in their interests and in the interests of the wider public he declined to continue the suppression order.

But Mr Rickard-Simms immediately responded that his instructions were to appeal that decision. On that basis Judge Wolff said he would continue the interim suppression order for seven days to allow the applicant to lodge an appeal to the High Court.

If an appeal was lodged within that time the suppression order would continue under further order of the court.

Loader faces one representative count of receiving commercial sexual services from the teenager.

The offences, which are laid under the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, are alleged to have occurred on two separate occasions in Tauranga in November.

Loader is yet to plead to the charge and his lawyer, Craig Horsley, successfully sought a two-week adjournment from Judge Wolff to enable him to hold further discussions with police.

Mr Horsley said he hoped that these discussions would result in a resolution to the matter and expected his client to enter a plea if a more appropriate charge was laid.

Loader was further remanded on bail to next appear in court on January 29.

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