News

Retired school teacher jailed for sexual assault on a child

An elderly former school teacher has been jailed over the historic sexual assault of a young girl.
An elderly former school teacher has been jailed over the historic sexual assault of a young girl.

A RETIRED school teacher, who once taught in Grafton and Coffs Harbour, has been jailed for the sexual assault of a young girl.

Coffs Harbour man John William McGuinness, 78, was found guilty on eight historic offences committed against a child between 1984 and 1989.

He was sentenced to five years and eight months jail, with a non-parole period of two years and two months in the Taree District Court this week.

The victim, now 38, reported the crimes to Coffs Harbour Police in 2011 and filed a detailed account of the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of McGuinness.

She wept in court and struggled to complete her evidence as she spoke of the emotional trauma that she and her family had experienced.

"He used his position of authority . . . to groom her, which gave him the opportunity to commit the sexual offences upon her," Judge Roy Ellis said.

McGuinness was found guilty by a jury in the Coffs Harbour District Court last year on four counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 16 years and four counts of sexual assault with acts of indecency on a child under 16 years.

Offering no remorse or apology for his crimes in court, he will serve his jail time in protective custody and under heavy supervision given his age and deteriorating health.

McGuinness will be eligible for parole on May 4, 2015.

In a statement, the victim said: "I want to thank the detectives from Coffs Harbour and lawyers and support staff from the Lismore Director of Public Prosecutions for their support for the duration of the case."

Topics:  coffs harbour, grafton, sexual assault



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Calm weather with up to two-metre swells at Tweed

Waves might look like this.

Surf conditions for the beach this weekend.

Feast of street food trucks into Harbour

FEAST FOR FOODIES: Mat Whalley, Kat Creasey, Chico Green and Trevor Braga from Food Kartel and Destination Tweed CEO Bill Tatchell are looking forward to the Tweed Food Truck Extravaganza.

Food Trucks will descend on Tweed Heads for a street food fiesta

Upmarket beach townhouse

Real Estate: 4/45 Kingscliff Street, Kingscliff NSW.

Take a look inside this stylish Kingscliff townhouse conversion

Latest deals and offers


British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Broncos prepare for Sharks

Defensive training session at the Broncos

Tough defensive session in preparation for Sharks game.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances