The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
Perv jailed until 80
Elite school teacher’s rape sentence
A PERVERTED former teacher who worked at some of the state’s most prestigious schools was yesterday jailed for at least 11 years for a series of sickening sexual assaults on boys as young as 11.
As former Trinity Grammar School teacher Neil Futcher’s sentence was handed down in the District Court for raping and sexually assaulting boys, there were shouts of “hope you die in there Futcher you pig”.
But a court stuff-up robbed his six victims of looking him in the eye as justice was finally meted out.
An “administrative error” meant Futcher, 69, was not brought to court from Nowra jail for his sentencing of a maximum of 18 years and minimum of 11, which instead had to be done via a last-minute videolink.
“That was a big disappointment,” one of his victims, Rob Anderson, 53, who has consented to his identity being known, said outside court.
However, Mr Anderson said the lengthy jail term, which had to be imposed based on sentencing practices at the time of the offences from 1974-1981, was “amazing”. It is one of the toughest ever handed down in a historic child sex abuse case of this age. He would be 80 when released.
Hatred from a packed public gallery had been palpable at Futcher’s last appearance, when victims’ impact statements were read. His six victims, men who were then boys aged from 11 to 15, had sobbed in court when a jury convicted him on all 22 counts in September last year.
Four of the victims were pupils of Futcher’s at Trinity Grammar at Summer Hill in Sydney, and the other two were taught swimming by him at Pymble. One described one episode of abuse as like a “scene from hell” .
Futcher had previously taught at Sydney Grammar School and was also boarding master at Knox Grammar School.
None of the six boys had known each other at the time of their abuse but were brought together by the investigation into the sexual predator, which only began after Mr Anderson gave evidence to the child sex abuse Royal Commission.
The court heard that he had first gone to police in 1990 but there was no investigation. He again reported it in 1997.
Judge Jennie Girdham, one of two new District Court judges whose work will exclusively be child sexual assault cases, said Futcher had been “predatory, systematic, corrupting, sustained” and had shown no remorse.
She said he was “distorted” when he referenced in his evidence other cultures where child sex was considered acceptable. He had said teaching masturbation was “educational”.
And the judge praised the victims’ courage in coming forward. Futcher threatened some of them with harm and exposure if they reported him and as late as 2015 “begged” one of the men to forget his abuse..