Predator teacher sentenced


Ewen McRae

By Ewen McRae

A former Melton teacher who admitted to sexually abusing a former student has been sentenced to more than four years prison.

Nicole Woods plead guilty in the County Court to two counts of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16, following a series of incidents while she was working at Staughton College.

The court was told that Woods regularly met with a boy at the school over a period of five months, including after school in a small office apace and behind a classroom.

Woods also messaged the boy on Facebook and sent him naked photos of herself.

The victim had previously told the court that he felt like he had lost his innocence, never finished school, and now suffered from depression and anxiety.

While woods plead guilty to the charges and said she felt ashamed of her actions, she said that the sex acts were consensual and she believed the boy was over the age of consent.

Judge George Georgiou rejected Woods version of events, saying she was an experienced teacher who would have known she was doing the wrong thing.

“You were trained in and involved in childhood education … it defies belief that you could hold such a view,” he said.

“I have no doubt that you knew at the time that what you were doing was illegal.

“Your conduct has had a significant, destructive and lasting impact on your victim and his family.

“The community generally, and parents in particular, have every right to expect that when children attend school they will be safe and not preyed upon by those who care for them.”

Woods was jailed for four years and two months, with a minimum of two and a half years before parole.

She will also be placed on the sexual offenders register and can never work with children again.