A teacher pursued a girl for sex, a court has heard. He continued to do so even after the girl’s mother discovered his lewd messages, it is alleged.
A teacher pursued a girl for sex, a court has heard. He continued to do so even after the girl’s mother discovered his lewd messages, it is alleged.

Teacher accused of pursuing girl after mother caught him

An Urrbrae Agricultural High School teacher continued "intensely" pursuing a student for sex even after her mother caught him out and he apologised, a court has heard.

On Tuesday, the District Court was told Adrian Neil Terrace's victim rejected him when he kissed her, and yet he still sexually pestered her until police arrested him.

Prosecutor Vanessa Burrows said the girl's mother was the first to discover Terrace's behaviour, and emailed him saying "Adrian, you have some explaining to do".

"Terrace replied 'yes I know, first of all I want to say sorry' and 'over the holidays, the teacher/student line blurred and we were communicating as friends'," she said.

"He said 'I do care about her in a father-type way but I was wrong to communicate in this friendly kind of way'.

"Despite that, Terrace was not deterred and his ongoing sexual interest in her continued unabated … the victim would try and rebuff him, but he became more intense."

Terrace was known to students as “Mr T”. Picture: Twitter
Terrace was known to students as “Mr T”. Picture: Twitter

Terrace, 48, of Aberfoyle Park, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated counts of communicating to make a child amenable to sex and indecent assault.

On Tuesday, Ms Burrows said the offending commenced after the girl thanked Terrace - known to students as "Mr T" - over Facebook for his help.

"She said he was 'like a father figure' to her," Ms Burrows said.

She said their communications quickly became inappropriate, but were difficult for the girl's family to detect.

"That was because Terrace only used Facebook Messenger for what he called his 'PG messages'," she said.

"He told (the student) he would use WhatsApp for 'M-rated content' and Instagram for 'R-rated content'.

"The student attempted to deflect him but he persisted, saying on Instagram 'we could do more on my couch, you know'."

Ms Burrows said that, after being discovered by the girl's mother, Terrace switched to handwritten notes, Snapchat and fake email accounts he created for them both.

On the school's sports day, she said, Terrace took advantage of an empty classroom to "pull the girl toward him and kiss her on the lips".

"She was shocked and pulled away from the kiss, and told Terrace she was going … a friend of hers saw the kiss, reflected in the glass door of the classroom," she said.

Anthony Allen, for Terrace, said his client should be found not guilty of the charges.

"The messages may be inappropriate but they fall short of what the law requires to make them criminal," he said.

The trial, before Judge Michael Boylan and in the absence of a jury, continues.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.

 

Originally published as Teacher 'pursued girl even after mother caught him'

Terrace was stood down at the school following his arrest. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe
Terrace was stood down at the school following his arrest. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe

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