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- Dennis Stewart
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SA man jailed in Australia for paedophilia
Durban - An Australian court has sentenced a former Durban teacher
to 27 months in jail for sexually abusing children as young as 12 years old.
Dennis Stewart, 50, pleaded guilty to four charges in Melbourne and would
face more charges in New South Wales, reported the Daily News.
He immigrated to Australia in 1999.
The judge ruled that Stewart had to serve a minimum of 18 months and Stewart
was put on Australia’s paedophile list.
Stewart taught at schools in Durban before he emigrated.
Police said he would be extradited once he completed his sentence.
KZN Childline head Linda Naidoo said the sentence was “ridiculous”.
Aussies nail ex-SA teacher as paedophile
Durban - A former South African primary school teacher has been named and shamed on an
Australian paedophile list after he was convicted of committing sex acts against boys as young as 12.
On Monday, Dennis Stewart, 50, appeared in the dock at the County Court in Melbourne,
on four counts of committing indecent acts with two children under 16.
Stewart was forced to leave Ballarat and move to Beaumont Hills in New South
Wales after he pleaded guilty to four of the eight charges in December last year.
He was convicted on Monday, and is expected to be sentenced on February 11.
This morning, Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall, of the Ballarat sexual offence
and child abuse investigation team, said Stewart could face up to four years in jail.
Argall said while Steward faced four counts of committing indecent sex acts with the
boys, there had been more than 20 incidents reported. He said in November last year
Stewart’s bail was revoked when police found he had been communicating with one of
the victims through Facebook.
At the time, he admitted to the court he had breached his bail conditions by contacting
students at the Ballarat-based school where he previously taught.
Before he emigrated to Australia in 1999 Stewart taught at Glenmore and Altholton primary
schools, in Durban. He was a Grade 7 teacher, who taught most subjects.
The charges stemmed from allegations made by two male pupils at the school where Stewart
previously taught, in Ballarat. The incidents happened between September and November last year.
According to a report in the Australian newspaper The Courier, New South Wales police are
also starting proceedings against Stewart over alleged child sex offences between 2005 and 2008.
The Courier reported that the court had heard that Stewart had invited a number of boys to his
home over a two-year period, asking some of them about the size of their genitals and whether
they were gay. He grabbed two of the boys’ genitals on separate occasions at his home and in
his office at school. On each occasion the boys rebuffed his advances.
Crown prosecutor Diana Piekusis told the court Stewart had arranged a bedroom for one of the
children at his home, after buying him a phone, Xbox video game console and depositing money
into the boy’s bank account.
The court also heard that Stewart had set up a fake Facebook account for “research” purposes.
Defence counsel Ian Hayden said his client had been addressing psychological issues since
2009, and that the offences committed between 2010 and 2011 were on the “lower end” of the
sexual offence scale.
“Eight boys had stayed a night in his home... he did not think it was inappropriate,” Hayden said.
However, Judge Richard Maidment said the offending was a severe breach of trust.
“It’s serious offending for what might have happened... this could have got a lot worse.”
The prosecution submitted a prison sentence of up to three-and-a-half years would be
appropriate, while the defence argued for a community corrections order, due to ongoing mental health concerns.
During the trial, Detective Senior Constable Mathew Young testified that Stewart had
touched a boy’s genitals on two separate occasions and masturbated or played with himself in
front of the child on eight occasions.
He said Stewart had also walked in on the teenager while he was in the shower, and would himself
walk around naked in front of him.
Last month, police searched Stewart’s home and seized a computer which is still to be analysed.
On Tuesday, Glenmore principal David Spiteri confirmed that Stewart had taught at
the school and Graham Aaron, principal at Atholton Primary in uMhlanga, said Stewart
had taught there for about two years from 1992, before being transferred to Glenmore Primary.
Former Ballarat teacher faces court again on sex charges
A former teacher at a Ballarat secondary school has pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse charges.
Dennis Michael Stewart, 50, appeared in the dock of the County Court in Ballarat yesterday, where
he entered guilty pleas to four counts of committing an indecent act with a child under 16.
In a courtroom void of friends or family, Stewart wept as the charges were read to him.
The charges relate to two boys who were students at the school where Stewart taught.
Three of the charges relate to one boy, and one to the other.
The school cannot be named for legal reasons.
Stewart’s guilty plea spares 25 prosecution witnesses from giving evidence, including his two victims
and 17 other civilians.
Counsel for Stewart, Ian Hayden said his client would engage with a forensic psychiatrist before the
plea hearing, which is scheduled for February 4 at the County Court in Melbourne.
A video link will be set up with the Ballarat court to enable interested parties to watch the proceedings.
Crown prosecutor Diana Piekusis said the matter was “of some complexity” and the plea hearing would
likely require more than a day of court time.
She said it was possible the Crown would cross- examine any medical witnesses put forward by the defence.
Judge Richard Maidment extended Stewart’s bail, but warned him he was facing a likely jail sentence.
“This is not an indication at all that should cause your client any optimism,” Judge Maidment said about
Since his initial arrest and release from custody, Stewart was returned to prison for breaching bail
conditions by contacting students at the school where he previously taught.
Then in April he was granted bail for a second time.
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