Teacher aquitted of sex abuse charges
Matthew Faulkner leaves the Perth District Court earlier this week. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

A former Catholic primary school principal and teacher has been acquitted of nine charges relating to allegations he sexually abused a teenager 17 years ago.

But a Perth District Court jury was unable to reach a verdict on two charges relating to accusations that Matthew Edward Faulkner indecently assaulted a former student in classrooms in separate alleged incidents 30 years ago.

The jury of four women and eight men started deliberating yesterday afternoon before returning their unanimous not guilty verdicts on eight charges just before noon today.

The jury had been directed by Judge Gillian Braddock to deliver a not guilty verdict on the ninth charge because of a lack of evidence.

Mr Faulkner was accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy at his home and on one occasion in a car in 1997. At the time, he was the principal of the primary school at Mandurah Catholic College, where the boy attended high school. They had met through another teenager.

While he admitted letting boys drink alcohol and smoke cannabis at his home, he denied the sexual events ever happened.

The man who made the allegations relating to the 1997 incident sobbed outside court after the verdicts and yelled at Mr Faulkner’s wife.

Judge Braddock asked the jurors, who could not reach a unanimous decision on the two charges of indecent assault relating to alleged incidents at Sacred Heart Primary School in Thornlie in the early 1980s, to try to reach a majority verdict. The majority verdict can be reached by 10 jurors agreeing, but they could not come to this outcome.

The outstanding two charges were adjourned for three weeks for State prosecutors to decide whether Mr Faulkner will face a retrial.

The West Australian

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