Principal lurked outside female teacher's home at night

By Imran Ali -
Dargaville High School principal David Bargh has pleaded guilty to being on a female teacher's property without permission.
Dargaville High School principal David Bargh has pleaded guilty to being on a female teacher's property without permission.

A Northland school principal has admitted "lurking" on the property of a female teacher at night.

David Kenneth Bargh yesterday pleaded guilty in the Whangarei District Court to three counts of a charge known as "lurking/loitering/peeping/peering near to a dwelling".

He also admitted being unlawfully in an enclosed yard.

The 59-year-old principal of Dargaville High School was initially charged with three counts of being unlawfully in an enclosed yard but they were replaced at yesterday's court appearance with the new trio of charges.

The Education Council confirmed receiving a report on Bargh when police investigations started. Bargh has been principal of the school since late 2002.

Council spokeswoman Fiona Mayo said now that Bargh has pleaded guilty to all charges, he would be referred to the council's disciplinary tribunal which would decide on the penalty.

"In the meantime, we are in the process of asking for an undertaking from him that he won't be teaching.

"If he doesn't sign that undertaking, the council can enforce an interim suspension on him," she said.

The tribunal has powers to strike Bargh off the teachers register.

School board of trustees chairwoman Kathryn de Bruin said she was unable to comment because the matter was still before the courts.

"We can confirm that it is business-as-usual at the school, with our focus on providing a high quality of education to our students," she said.

The police summary of facts said that about 9.30pm on October 1, 2015, Bargh went to a property in Dargaville without the occupant's permission or knowledge.

A neighbour was alerted to his presence and gave chase but lost sight of Bargh.

Bargh also went on to the property about 3.40am on January 10 and fled when a neighbour saw him.

He was captured on a surveillance camera on the property on a third occasion on January 22.

Two days later, Bargh was questioned by a neighbour when he entered the property for the fourth time, before police were called.

The complainant had no physical injuries but suffered psychologically and still suffers as a result of Bargh's behaviour.

Bargh told police he went to her property between three and four times a week during the school holidays.

"I always felt disgusted with myself when I got home.

"Then a few days later, I would do it again," Bargh said.

He later admitted during a police interview he first went to the woman's property before December 2015. He did not have any previous convictions.

Judge Philippa Cunningham remanded Bargh on bail to re-appear for sentencing on April 27.

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