Paedophile teacher drugged and raped students, court told
A depraved teacher, with a fetish for drugging and raping his students, was allowed to work unchecked
in high schools across Northern NSW, a Sydney court case has revealed.
Peter Wayne Scott will spend at least the next seven years behind bars over the systematic sexual abuse
of several male students in the mid-1980s.
The NSW District Court heard Scott had been a big name in the music industry, producing rock videos for
the Divinyls and others when he became an art teacher at Cromer High School on Sydney's northern beaches.
While there, Scott used his position as a "cool" teacher to lure teenage boys into private places, fuel
them with heroin and cannabis and sexually assault them.
When Scott chose Byron Bay as his new haven, the region's schools were unknowingly exposed to a predator,
who would only be seen for what he truly was when his victims found the courage to come forward more
than two decades later.
For several years, Scott worked as a teacher at Mullumbimby High before taking up a position as the
visual arts teacher at Byron Bay High School until 2010, when he was arrested and charged with 14
At the time of his arrest, the Department of Education removed Scott from a teaching role but
continued to employ him until the following year.
He also continued operating a local music business - B#Sharp Productions.
Three separate trials were held in Sydney over four months.
Following Scott's recent sentencing hearing in Sydney, the Herald reported one of his victims
had described being sexually assaulted two to three times a week following a day in 1984 when
Scott had taken him into a cleaner's room, given him a joint, pulled his pants down and performed
oral sex on him.
Another victim, who struggled with heroin addiction after Scott left the school, told his former
abuser - "You will not be known as Scotty as we called you... You will
be known as Peter Wayne Scott - the paedophile."
Scott will be eligible for parole in 2021.
Victims can speak with specially trained detectives from the Child Abuse Squad by phoning Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Drugs were a smokescreen to haze of abuse by Cromer High School teacher
Peter Wayne Scott's students thought he was pretty cool.
When he wasn't working at Cromer High School on Sydney's northern beaches, the
lanky art teacher was directing and producing rock videos for some of the hottest
bands of the day, including the Divinyls, Mental as Anything and the Choirboys.
With his street cred, dark glasses and willingness to bend the rules, Scott was
easily one of the most popular teachers at Cromer High in the mid-1980s.
But behind the veneer, something much more sinister was going on.
Scott was using his position to groom, drug and then sexually abuse teenage boys from the school,
molesting and assaulting them in classrooms and storerooms during school hours or after school in his blue panel van.
After the lifting of court suppression orders on Friday, it can now be revealed that over the past month Scott
has been convicted of 13 child sex offences committed between 1984 and 1986, following three separate trials and is facing years in jail.
This includes multiple convictions for homosexual sex with a minor, indecent assault and providing a stupefying drug
for the purpose of having homosexual sex with a minor.
The convictions, the last of which were delivered on Friday, provide a degree of solace for
the five survivors of the abuse, several of whom went into downward spirals of addiction from which at least one is still recovering.
"We've all lived with this for a very long time," one of the men, now in his 40s, said.
"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."
Over the course of three trials in the Downing Centre District Court, Scott's method of ingratiating
himself into the teenager's circle, selecting the more vulnerable child and then abusing him began to emerge.
One survivor described how the teacher began socialising with him and his friends in 1984 or 1985 in his first
few years at Cromer High, opening up the school's music room after hours and on the weekend so they could have jam sessions.
Scott would often share a joint with the boys during these activities, thereby making them more vulnerable to his abuse.
The survivor recalled how, in the summer of 1984 when he was 14 years old, Scott took him into the school cleaner's room
above the gymnasium and shared a joint with him.
With the teenager stunned by the effects of the drug, Scott then pulled his pants down and performed oral sex on
him as the youngster sat, frozen with shock. "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."
Much of Scott's abusing was carried out this way, the court heard, in small rooms on the school
grounds away from prying eyes and with the assistance of cannabis and other drugs, including cocaine.
Another of Scott's grooming strategies was to take the boys to the beach to go surfing and,
occasionally, to make surfing videos.
They would travel in a blue Toyota van with the name of his production video company, B-Sharp,
emblazoned on the side, and would often be given joints to smoke on the way or when they got there.
One survivor recalled how Scott invited him and his mates back to his house at Bilgola on one such
occasion so they could have a shower.
The teacher told him to use a shower upstairs while his mates remained downstairs. While he was
showering, Scott, got into the shower with him and indecently assaulted him.
The Crown Prosecutor in the case, Nanette Williams, told the court that Scott's grooming
extended beyond befriending the boys themselves.
"The accused, you might think, not only groomed [the boys] but he groomed the school
community," Ms Williams said.
"He groomed the family of [one boy]. Strong evidence came from his mother that she thought
he was a good guy. He was somebody she welcomed into her house, she trusted him with her son. She trusted the accused with her son."
Scott flatly denied all of the allegations against him, describing one of his victims as "a nightmare", "a thief" and "an aggressive stalker".
He denied even knowing three of his other victims, declaring: "I don't remember those students, I don't know them, I have no recall of them".
He shook his head in denial as the final four guilty verdicts were handed down on Friday.
By the time Scott was arrested in January 2012, he had spent just over 40 years in the teaching
profession, teaching at Mullumbimby High for eight years in the 1990s, at Kingscliffe TAFE and
then Byron High, where he spent the his last few years in administrative duties after the first
abuse complaints from the former Cromer students were made.
He also continued to make music videos and documentaries, several of which received awards and widespread recognition.
Meanwhile, the survivors of his abuse struggled with the impact of what had been done to them, battling drug
addiction, confusion about their sexuality and an inability to be intimate with their partners or affectionate towards their children.
"I couldn't say for certain that there was a direct correlation between those incidents and my drinking or my
drug use, but I don't think it's a coincidence that many of us have had those issues," one survivor said.
"For a lot of us, he [Scott] was the one who introduced us to drugs, and after that I think there's a degree to which I was self-medicating."
All wrestled with what happened to them for many years but eventually found the courage to come forward and
report what had happened to them. They are hopeful that if others have suffered abuse at Scott's hands, they will now also go to police.
"I think it's the first guys who had the courage to come forward who should be thanked," one survivor
who came forward following an earlier Fairfax Media report said.
Scott will return to court for sentencing on May 2.