A man who taught for eight years at Mullumbimby High and later at Byron High and Kingscliff TAFE has been jailed for 14 years on a range of child-sex charges.
Peter Wayne Scott taught art in the state school system for more than 40 years while simultaneously making music videos for bands including the Divynils, Mental as Anything and the Choirboys.
He was arrested while still working at Byron High in 2012, although he had by that time been moved to administrative duties.
Downing Centre Local Court heard how Scott, while a teacher at Cromer High School on Sydney’s northern beaches in the 1980s, had plied teenage male students with marijuana and other drugs and then had sex with them.
He has been convicted of 13 child-sex offences committed between 1984 and 1986.
None of the convictions relate to Scott’s time teaching on the northern rivers but one of the victims speculated at the trial as to how many students he may have abused over his 40-year career.
‘It’s a fantastic result but with a guy who’s had 40 years in teaching, you have to wonder if other people he abused are still out there,’ he said.
Scott was considered ‘cool’ by the kids, opening up the school’s music rooms for after-hours jam sessions and using the van of his music business, B Sharp Productions, to take kids surfing.
His modus operandi included singling out vulnerable students and taking them into a storeroom or a secluded spot to smoke a joint, after which he would sexually abuse them.
Another victim recounted how he was unable to react when Scott first got him stoned and then began performing oral sex on him in a school storeroom.
‘It was happening two or three times a week but because I couldn’t narrow down the dates for a lot of the incidents they couldn’t lay extra charges,’ the survivor told The Sun-Herald after the final trial concluded.
‘He said ‘if anyone finds out I’m going to turn it all around and tell them you did it and they’re going to believe me because I’m the teacher’.
‘You just sat there going, ‘what’s going on?’ You couldn’t tell your mates because most of them thought he was cool and because you didn’t talk to your mates about that stuff.’
Judge Sarah Hugett at sentencing hearing in the Downing Centre District Court last week, ‘These acts were carried out by a teacher who adults trusted and who students thought was ‘cool and nice’.
‘‘He is appropriately described as a sexual predator.’’
She added that his offences were in ‘the most serious category’.