April 18, 2013

Home detention for teacher's upskirt filming

By David Clarkson. A teacher caught making secret upskirt videos will not oppose being struck off the register by the Teachers’ Council, as he begins a 10-month home detention term.

The former assistant principal at Lincoln High School, Douglas Haora Martin, 57, has been ordered to undergo treatment for sex offending and is not allowed to associate with girls aged under 16 without permission.

 Those restrictions will apply during the sentence and for six months afterwards, Judge Emma Smith told him at his Christchurch District Court sentencing today.

 Defence counsel Bryan Green said Martin was seeking new qualifications and a new career after accepting that his 31-year teaching career was over.

 Judge Smith described the offending as premeditated and repeated but said that Martin was a man for whom home detention would be a sufficient personal deterrent.

 Martin has given police an assurance that none of the videos remain, and that a computer drive that was concealed beneath the bathroom carpet and not found during the police search of his home, has now been destroyed.

 Martin has previous convictions dating back almost 30 years for a burglary and two charges of misusing a telephone, the court was told.

 Mr Green said Martin had made full and frank admissions when he was caught, and the police took his computers. He acknowledged the offending was a gross breach of trust. He had been willing to undergo a restorative justice conference but the victims and their families had not wished to take part.

 He had been a hard worker and a successful teacher, but had now lost his career and accepted that he would be struck off by the Teachers’ Council. He had resigned from his job as assistant principal in January. He had been subjected to “dramatic coverage in the media”.

 Police prosecutor Bronwen Skea said there was clearly a need for intervention. Analysis of the computer showed he had accessed the videos he had made more than 400 times.

 Martin was caught when an undercover security guard at Westfield Mall, Riccarton, noticed his inappropriate behaviour. He then tried to flush away the pen camera’s circuit board and memory card. He had bought the device at a local electronics shop.

 Judge Smith said some of his victims were unknown. He had used the device to film under the skirts of girls at the school or at a shopping mall, or at other places which have been suppressed. He had acknowledged that he received sexual gratification and arousal from obtaining the videos and watching them.

 He had not thought about the effect of his offending on his victims. It had been “quintessentially selfish”, she said.

 The victims were vulnerable, while Martin had taken advantage of his position as an assistant principal and church elder. His family and friends had been shamed and hurt by his actions.

 Judge Smith said general deterrence was needed because of the availability of this technology, including cameras on smartphones. It was critical that the courts deter the use of these devices for “invading and violating” people’s privacy.