Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

More Jail Time Urged for Sex-Abuse Teacher

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

More Jail Time Urged for Sex-Abuse Teacher

Article excerpt

A 10-YEAR term does not adequately reflect the ahorrifyinga sexual abuse a teacher inflicted on his young students, a court has been told.

Gerard Vincent Byrnes, 61, was sentenced to 10 years jail in October last year after pleading guilty to 44 child-sex offences, including the rape and assault of his former pupils.

Lawyers acting for Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick yesterday urged the Court of Appeal to increase the sentence to as much as 15 years.

During the original sentencing hearing, the Toowoomba District Court was told Byrnes had worked in Catholic schools in NSW and Queensland since 1970 as both teacher and principal.

In 2007 and 2008, while working as a grade four teacher, he systematically abused 13 girls a[pounds sterling] aged nine and 10 a[pounds sterling] often in front of their classmates.

Many of the offences occurred after a complaint was made to the school, but not acted on because his denial was believed.

Byrnes was also the child protection officer at the school which cannot be named. …

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