Ex-teacher jailed for stalking teen victim

·2-min read

A former Melbourne teacher who stalked a teenage student and his mother after reading his diary claims she's actually his victim and that he's a monster.

Fiona Austin was jailed on Wednesday after a jury convicted her of stalking the boy over two periods between January 2015 and October 2016, despite her continuing protestations that the allegations were his "fantasies".

Phone records showed thousands of phone calls and text messages from her to the victim, who she later described as a "sick, sadistic inhumane monster".

After reading the boy's diary saved on his hard drive, Austin, now 53, began to pull him out of class to talk and offered the keys to her apartment if he needed a place to go.

He felt the comments went beyond the ordinary teacher-student relationship and made him feel uncomfortable, County Court Judge Michael O'Connell said on Wednesday.

The teen wrote a letter to the now-defunct Melbourne Senior Secondary College, asking she stay away from him.

On October 15, 2014 Austin was given a written reprimand and ordered to stay away outside class, but she was sacked a day later after failing to comply.

In 2015 alone she communicated with him via phone on 2671 occasions, and even sent a birthday card to him in which she hoped he would find a way back to the "truly wonderful" person he was.

In early 2016 she posted multiple PowerPoint presentations online, blaming the teen for the destruction of her life, but also claiming she wanted to see him again.

She sent a birthday card asking him to "give us back the happy and successful lives we once had" as well as hundreds of pages of Facebook messages and thousands of pages of emails.

Austin was also convicted of stalking the boy's mother throughout 2015.

Representing herself, Austin claimed the judge and court's bias against her was "astronomical".

"Every single one of the prosecution witnesses lied under oath and in their various signed statements," she said, asking that they be charged with perjury.

Austin interrupted throughout the sentence, prompting Judge O'Connell to threaten to have her removed.

"Well there's no point listening to it because it's not true," she said.

Judge O'Connell said she showed no empathy or insight into the profound impact on the boy and his mother, and was consumed by her own plight.

Austin interrupted again, claiming they actually benefited.

She refused to be placed on a community corrections order, saying she was not guilty and wouldn't do anything that might give the impression she was.

Judge O'Connell instead sentenced her to 18 months in prison with a minimum 12 months before she's eligible for parole. With time served she would be eligible for release in 15 days.

"I will not be applying for parole," Austin said.

She is appealing her conviction.