'Sex predator' teacher hid wealth, denied bail

2014-09-19 10:28

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Jeff Wicks, The Witness

Durban - A well-known KwaZulu-Natal drama teacher who paid his students for naked pictures and sex is a millionaire - and used his considerable wealth to lure his victims.

The 48-year-old convicted sex predator was refused bail in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, his final appearance in an application that has stretched over four weeks.

It emerged that the teacher has a secret stash of nearly R2.5m, which he is understood to have drawn from when paying for sex with a string of pupils he taught.

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.

Bank statements

Reams of damning pornographic images of teenage boys were found on several of the teacher’s laptops, which were 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.

When the teacher appeared in court last week, magistrate Paul Cartwright had ordered that the teacher’s bond and bank statements be handed over.

These statements revealed that the teacher had millions in multiple bank accounts.

“Somewhat disturbingly, the financial documents established the existence of sizable and considerable cash investments, well in excess of the total value of his assets that he disclosed in court,” Cartwright said in delivering his judgment.

“The applicant had stated on more than one occasion that his total assets were valued at approximately R1.7m, and yet the cash investments uncovered are far in excess of this amount.

“This I find particularly alarming, and a cause for grave concern, since it appears that the applicant has not been entirely honest with this court, and has attempted to mislead the court,” he said.

“I can find no valid or justifiable reason for any person to withhold this information, other than for some nefarious purpose.”

Previous conviction

Cartwright added that, owing to the teacher’s previous conviction, there was a “real possibility, and thus a likelihood” that he may prey on other children.

“The previous conviction of the applicant, albeit some time ago, does suggest a certain tendency on the part of the applicant towards crimes of similar nature,” he said.

The judgment outlined that the teacher faced the very real possibility of imprisonment, and his financial means could see him evade his trial.

“It is plain that he has the financial means to abscond should he wish, and in this day and age, the availability of a forged passport is hardly an impediment to a man of his means.

“On a weighing up of the personal interests of the applicant, as opposed to the interests of justice, and in particular the interests of the children involved, I am not of the opinion that he adduced sufficient evidence to satisfy this court, and bail is accordingly refused,” he said.

The teacher will be held in the awaiting trial section of Westville Prison ahead of his next appearance in October.

Read more on:    durban  |  child abuse  |  pornography  |  crime

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