Po­lice build­ing dossier on teacher-stu­dent sex

The Australian - - THE NATION - DAVID MUR­RAY NA­TIONAL CRIME COR­RE­SPON­DENT

The for­mer north­ern beaches stu­dent who first spoke out about preda­tory teach­ers says po­lice are build­ing a “sig­nif­i­cant dossier of in­for­ma­tion”.

NSW po­lice formed Strike Force South­wood in July to in­ves­ti­gate his­tor­i­cal sex­ual as­saults and stu­dent-teacher re­la­tion­ships un­cov­ered in the in­ves­tiga­tive pod­cast se­ries The Teacher’s Pet.

For­mer Cromer High School vice-cap­tain Robyn Wheeler, who came for­ward at the start of the se­ries about a “pack” of teach­ers pur­su­ing stu­dents for sex in the 1980s, said yes­ter­day peo­ple were con­tin­u­ing to talk to the strike force. “I know up un­til two weeks ago peo­ple were still speak­ing to them,” she said.

“I be­lieve they’ve had a lot of in­for­ma­tion and they’ve had a lot of peo­ple come for­ward.

“Be­cause they are so keen to pro­tect the in­tegrity of all of the state­ments, and to stop peo­ple con­tam­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence, once you speak to them they ask you not to speak with other peo­ple about those dis­cus­sions.

“Sim­i­larly, when peo­ple have con­tacted me to tell me some­thing I’ve said, ‘don’t tell me, you need to speak to South­wood’. So I’ve been di­rect­ing peo­ple there.

“They must be build­ing a sig­nif­i­cant dossier of in­for­ma­tion.”

The ar­rest of Chris Daw­son, a for­mer Cromer High sports teacher, for the mur­der of his wife, Lyn, had demon­strated the po­lice com­mit­ment to in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions from the era, she said.

“It’s re­as­sured ev­ery­one that po­lice are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion and do­ing what­ever they can to bring it to a right­ful con­clu­sion,” Ms Wheeler said.

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