National

Qld teacher jailed for indecently touching

By AAP Newswire

A former Queensland primary school teacher who slid his hands under students' clothing in class has been jailed.

Peter Matthew Malone's sexualised touching often occurred after girls had been called to his desk under the pretext of checking their school work, his sentencing hearing has heard.

Crown prosecutor Russell Hood says that in a classroom full of children, Malone, 64, then slid his hands under his victim's clothing.

On another occasion, he forced a girl to sit in his lap while he rubbed himself against her.

The youngest girl was aged eight. The oldest was 13.

Malone pleaded guilty on Thursday to 13 counts of indecent treatment of children under his care and two counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child.

The offending occurred at two Queensland schools between 1992 and 2002 and is Malone's second conviction for indecently dealing with children.

Mr Hood said Malone had systematically and cynically abused his position of trust over many years and should be sentenced as a pedophile.

"He seems to have found a particular niche ... of low-level touching, which may not attract a complaint," he said.

"He remains a risk to the community and particularly young girls."

One victim, who cannot be identified, told the Brisbane District Court Malone's abuse destroyed her relationship with her father, her sole carer.

"I couldn't bear to live with an older male who had similar physical characteristics as the defendant," she said while reading her victim impact statement.

"Even though he was my father I looked at him in a totally different way than most girls should look at their own dad."

With no family support, the woman said she fell into drug and alcohol addiction.

"In the long run, this has affected my whole life (and) ruined my dreams," she said.

Outside court, the woman urged any other victims not to be afraid and to come forward to police.

Judge Julie Dick told Malone his offending was a gross breach of trust.

She rejected claims by Malone's wife and two children that the behaviour was uncharacteristic of the community-minded man.

"These types of offences have serious effects on complainants ... (and) they have this ripple effect that goes out," she said.

Malone was sentenced to four years in prison, suspended after 12 months.