Jail for teacher who collected child porn
Jail for teacher who collected child porn

A former WA teacher who admitted collecting child pornography for nine years but initially denied he was sexually interested in children has been jailed for 18 months.

District Court Judge Simon Stone today announced that he had lifted a suppression order on the name of Rodney Bernard Westacott in the interest of open justice before sentencing the 46-year-old.

Westacott had pleaded guilty to possessing child exploitation material after he was caught with more than a thousand images and videos, some of which were deemed to be in the most serious category of child pornography.

The former teacher librarian, who had worked at a WA public school, had been charged as part if an international crackdown on child exploitation.

But while Westacott had admitted collecting child pornography for nine years he originally denied he had a sexual interest in children and claimed he viewed the material "more in the nature of a punishment to himself and an illicit thrill in accessing the material".

Today, his case was set for a trial of issues to argue the point.

But instead the dispute was this morning dropped and he was sentenced during which the judge noted Westacott's earlier claims to specialists was a "pack of lies".

He can apply for parole after serving half his jail term.

The court was told Westacott had worked on a teaching role for more than 20 years, with Judge Stone noting it was "concerning" that his collection of child pornography might indicate he had a sexual interest in children for nearly half his teaching career.

"It's concerning if half of that period of time he was sexually interested in children," Judge Stone said.

The judge also noted Westacott had taken part in camps as part of his work, although a defence lawyer stressed there were no allegations he had preyed upon children via his work.

The West Australian

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