A music teacher with a fetish for stockings has been sentenced to five years’ jail for indecently recording dozens of his young students at West Australian schools.
Christopher Ryan Jones, 32, mostly used an app on his mobile phone to secretly record the 40 female victims, who were aged between six and 15, over a three-year period.
Many of the recordings were made during music classes or at recess at the schools in WA’s south and south east where he was teaching.
He also admitted to indecently recording a six-year-old girl in a supermarket and an 11-year-old at a scout jamboree.
Jones was caught when he left one of his phones at school and a teacher discovered the recordings and reported him to the deputy principal.
A search of his home then uncovered thousands of child exploitation images on electronic devices.
The District Court was told Jones had a fetish for stockings and tights, and the recordings focused on the girls’ legs and upper thighs.
He later transferred them onto a computer and viewed them for his own sexual gratification.
On two occasions he set up a hidden camera in a school storeroom and recorded students changing their clothing.
Offences ‘cunning’ but not worst of their kind, judge says
Chief Judge Kevin Sleight said those offences involved “some planning” and were particularly “cunning”.
He also said that over time, Jones had become more “confident and brazen” because he had regularly placed his phone on the ground to record the victims’ legs.
Judge Sleight said Jones’ offences were serious because they had the effect of undermining the confidence parents have in schools and made it more difficult for male teachers to be trusted.
However, he said Jones’ offending was “far from the worst of its kind” saying he had not touched his victims who were mostly fully clothed with their legs covered by the tights or stockings.