Sex with student proven - former Murwillumbah teacher convicted

A FORMER deputy principal of Murwillumbah High School was convicted in Lismore District Court this week of having oral sex with a student more than 30 years ago. Peter John Edwards, 59, now of Leeton, NSW, was a teacher at%Bonalbo Central School from 1973 to 1976 when, on two occasions, he had oral sex with a male student. Edwards was deputy principal at Murwillumbah High School from 1988 to 1998 after teaching for two years at Mullumbimby High School. Edwards, who is suffering from cancer, resigned from his teaching position in Leeton in August this year after expecting to continue teaching until he was 65. He told the court this week he had carried the guilt around for 30 years. Edwards had tried to become the best person he could as a result by working long hours for the community and for each school for which he worked. The court was told Edwards had taken early retirement from a well-paid job which had affected him and his family financially. The victim, now 49, was 17 at the time of the first incident in 1975. Addressing the court, the man%described how the incidents had changed his life. "I came to the Central School in 1973," he said. "My family had problems and I thought I could trust Mr Edwards. "I was disgusted at what happened and it has haunted me all my life." He said he became reckless, took drugs and suffered depression. "It has had an impact on all my%relationships. I have never married or had the chance of caring or loving children of my own," the man told the court. Judge Black said there was a maximum sentence of five years%prison for each charge. The judge said Edwards had lived with the knowledge of what he had done, and had done his best in his own way to expunge his guilt and contribute to the wellbeing and lives of pupils and parents since it had happened. Edwards was sentenced to weekend detention for two years and three months, with a non-parole%period of nine months. The Tweed Daily News believes that many teachers at Murwillumbah High School this week were shocked and disappointed by the news of the case.



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