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A former housemaster at a Bathurst school has been found guilty of indecent assaults on a student dating back 38 years

Raymond John Woods, 63, had pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault on a male, in a Bathurst Local Court hearing that began in August last year and concluded at the Bathurst Court House.
Woods, of Cave Gully Road, Napoleon Reef, was found to have indecently assaulted a 15-year-old boarding student while housemaster of the “Newhouse” dormitory at The Scots School between May 1 and June 30, 1974.
The former school teacher’s case has been adjourned for a Probation and Parole Service pre-sentence report to be prepared to outline sentencing options on Tuesday, April 19.
Local Court magistrate Jan Stevenson found three indecent assault charges against Woods proved after resuming the part-heard case in which police used a surveillance device for the former “fourth form” student to contact Woods by mobile telephone.
The student had spoken to Woods on the phone, saying he’d been receiving counselling and was attempting to reconcile and gain closure over what happened to him when he was one of 15 to 20 boarders sleeping in the “Newhouse” dormitory and Woods had been housemaster.
The man, who cannot be named or identified, said Woods had occupied a room on the second level of the dormitory at the top of a staircase where a poster of an obese naked woman had been placed on a wall.
Woods used to let students smoke cigarettes in his room, the man said.
Woods had invited him to smoke about 7.45pm to 8pm before lights out. The man said Woods came up behind him, placing his hands down the front of his pyjamas and fondling his genitals.
At the same time the man said Woods, who had said nothing, had taken his hand and placed in onto his penis, until he said “I’m not like that”. The man said he had not invited Woods to touch him and did not like what had been done.
While the man said he had vowed never to go into Woods’ room alone again, he said in 1974 they had talked about going fishing.
The man said Woods agreed and he insisted a friend accompany them as they went in Woods’ private car, an old style two-tone motor vehicle like a Bentley or Rolls Royce.
No sooner had they arrived at a river to fish than Woods had “rugby tackled” him to the ground, touching his genitals through his clothing. Once again the man said he’d told Woods he didn’t like what had been done.
The man also claimed that Woods had told him of placing winning bets on the Melbourne Cup, using the money to buy him a stereo cassette and radio player.
The man said he’d told a friend in 1975 of being indecently assaulted by Woods. He had also told police, his wife and his doctor, going to police to make a statement in 2009 when the police arranged for him to phone Woods.
Another former fourth form student at school gave evidence of seeing the former 15-year-old student going to Woods’ room in the dormitory to smoke. He said the man had been the “pet student” of Woods at that time.

www.westernadvocate.com.au (11-3-2011)

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