School teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes leaves court after an earlier appearance on numerous counts, including 33 counts of sexually molesting children.
School teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes leaves court after an earlier appearance on numerous counts, including 33 counts of sexually molesting children.

Inside the sick, twisted mind of a serial child abuser

"I AM a professional and competent teacher and I find these allegations extremely distressing."

That was the response veteran teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes gave superiors after they sought clarification over a student's allegations against him.

His superiors took the response on face value and agreed to "monitor him closely" in-turn going against their own procedures which required the matter be reported to police.

The letter dated September 20, 2007, was Byrnes' response to a letter then principal Terence Michael Hayes sent him.

Read the full letter a convicted pedophile sent to his school's principal

Pedophile teacher said students misinterpreted contact

Mr Hayes outlined concerns he had about Byrnes' behaviour towards students and allegations child victim KH made a week prior.

"My intentions during my interactions with students are always of a friendly and innocuous nature," Byrnes said.

"I would never make any student (male or female) feel uncomfortable by my actions, and I have certainly never engaged with any student with inappropriate intent, nor would I ever do this.

"I would be happy to accept any training or other support that may be offered by you (Hayes) in reviewing some of the practices that have resulted in these misunderstandings."

Principal had three chances to report convicted pedophile

Byrnes went on to rape and sexually assault 13 girls at the primary school where he was also one of two student protection officers.

He was subsequently convicted on 44 child sexual offences in 2010 and was jailed for 10 years.

Byrnes will be eligible for release from prison in 2016 after serving 80% of his sentence.


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