Dance teacher’s ‘trail of devastation’ after abusing boys

A FORMER dance teacher walked into a Gold Coast police station and admitted to sexually abusing four boys 17 years ago before a complaint had been made.

However, the man, aged 83, continued to abuse the boys after he was confronted by parents.

The man, who cannot be legally named, pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court on Wednesday to 22 counts of indecent treatment of a child and one count of attempted indecent treatment of a child.

He abused his step-nephews for seven years when they were aged between seven and 15 in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Judge Catherine Muir sentenced him to five years prison to be suspended after he has served 12 months.

"This is serious, disgraceful, predatory behaviour which involved a breach of trust," she said.

"You were welcomed into the family and you misused that trust.

"You have left behind a trail of devastation."

One of the boys, now an adult, attended court with a support person and kept his head bowed during the sentencing and at times shed silent tears.

He provided a written statement to the court.

"My sending the defendant to jail today is not going to take away your pain," Judge Muir told the victim.

"It cannot be overlooked the pain it caused and the courage it took having to provide a victim impact statement to the court."

Crown prosecutor Matt Hynes told the court: "These offences don't just impact one person, they impact families, they impact generations of families.

"The offending has caused very serious and dreadful consequences."

Mr Hynes said the family confronted the man at the time of the offending after one of the boys told their parents what happened. The man was aged 59 to 66 when he abused the boys.

There was an 18-month break in the offending but the step-uncle then resumed offending on the other boys.

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Mr Hynes said the family again confronted the man about the abuse late last year and the man went to police and gave a full confession.

Defence barrister Andrew Hoare, instructed by Karsas Lawyers, said the man had expressed remorse and had undergone counselling.

"There is no excuse for the continuation of offending," he said.

"It is a circumstance where he has prioritised his personal interest above those of the child and has continued to offend.'

Mr Hoare said no threat had been made to the man when he went to police.

It was only when the man made the confession that police became aware of the abuse and interviewed the boys.

The man has now surrendered his blue card.

Originally published as Dance teacher's 'trail of devastation' after abusing boys


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