Child porn accused wants privacy

2014-11-10 00:00

THE prominent Durban drama teacher at the centre of a child porn scandal has appealed for privacy, just days after he was released on bail.

“I just want people to leave me alone,” he said, speaking from his home in Durban.

The 49-year-old convicted sex predator was granted bail of R250 000 in the Durban High Court last week after making an application through his advocate.

His conviction relates to an improper sexual relationship he enjoyed with a 15-year-old boy and dates back to the early nineties.

He faces 11 counts of possession, production and procurement of child pornography, with his arrest coming in the wake of a discreet drug investigation at a top Durban high school.

It is understood that reams of damning pornographic images of teenage boys were found on several of the teacher’s laptops, seized along with his cellphone during a raid on his home. Evidence has been uncovered that indicates he paid one of his pupils R35 000 over six months in exchange for nude pictures, masturbation videos and sex.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, the teacher said he had spent his first days of freedom convalescing.

His formal bail application stretched over four weeks and he had spent nearly three months incarcerated before his release was secured, even spending his birthday behind bars.

“I am still trying to recover from my stay in Westville Prison, which was obviously not pleasant, as one would expect,” he said.

The teacher, who cannot be named until he has pleaded in the case, said that time spent in the awaiting trial section of the prison had taken a toll.

He cut a bedraggled figure while standing in the dock before he was released, looking crestfallen and hanging his head while he listened to testimony of the investigating officer.

“I lost a lot of weight while I was inside,” he said.

In his initial application his attorney, Nerissa Farrington, had cited his need for medical care as determination for his release. She told the court that the teacher was undergoing treatment for depression and there was a worry that he would not have access to adequate medical care while awaiting trial.

She also told of how he had broken out in sores that needed treatment.

He is due back in court in December, pending the outcome of a Cyber Crime Unit investigation into electronic devices that were confiscated at his home.

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