The West

The former chaplain at a private Perth girls school on trial for possessing child pornography claims documents linking him to the material were planted but denied trying to use three men as "convenient fall guys".

Matthew David O'Meara, a 42-year-old reverend and married father of two, is fighting four counts of possessing child pornography on two thumb drives.

He was Perth College's senior chaplain for seven months in 2010 before he was arrested and charged in August of that year.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Linda Keane in the District Court today, Mr O'Meara denied her suggestions that in a desperate attempt to deflect blame he was using three men - a colleague who examined the first thumb drive found and handed it in to the school principal, the husband of the school's deputy principal and an assistant chaplain - as "convenient fall guys" and that he was dragging them into a supposed conspiracy.

Mr O'Meara said he was simply stating facts to the jury.

He said his home internet account still had the username of the deputy principal's husband who lived in his on-campus house before him and whose confidence he had betrayed after divulging details of his counselling sessions to the school principal.

Mr O'Meara said he also believed the assistant chaplain knew his password and used the school laptop under his account.

He stopped short of putting responsibility on anyone else, saying he did not know who was to blame for the sexually explicit videos and images of girls on the USB devices, except that it wasn't him.

He denied suggestions by Ms Keane that he was lying and was struggling to keep track of all his stories.

"I put my hand on the bible ... it's a far bigger authority than you," Mr O'Meara told Ms Keane.

Mr O'Meara rejected suggestions by Ms Keane that he downloaded and watched child porn on his home computer before saving some of the material on to thumb drives and deleting the files. He said he did not keep thumb drives.

One of the thumb drives was found on another teacher's desk, while the second device was in Mr O'Meara's pocket when police were called to the school.

Mr O'Meara said he had only picked that device up in the chapel an hour or two before and was planning to hand it in to the office as lost property.

He denied forgetting it was in his pocket because he was shocked and overwhelmed at the police presence.

Also saved on the first thumb drive found were electoral roll forms with Mr O'Meara and his wife's details on them.

Mr O'Meara said he believed those forms were on the top of his in-tray and his theory was that someone had taken them, scanned them and saved them on to the thumb drive to implicate him.

When asked who his suspects were, Mr O'Meara said he didn't know.

Two character witnesses - an old school friend and former colleague who used to be a nun - gave evidence today that Mr O'Meara's reputation, honesty and integrity were impeccable.

The trial continues.

The West Australian

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