Teacher refused bail over assault cases

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A St Marys school teacher accused of indecently assaulting several students last year has been refused bail.

Matthew Brunel George Thomas, 49, faced Penrith Local Court last Thursday charged with seven counts of ‘aggravated assault of a person under 16’ and two counts of ‘incite act of indecency’.

Police will allege Mr Thomas, who was arrested at Liverpool Police Station on July 20, indecently assaulted three female students, two aged 11 and another aged nine.

It comes after Mr Thomas was charged in May with three counts of indecent assault of a student, 12, which resulted in his suspension from duty.

He was formally denied bail last week despite his wife – who was in court along with his mother – offering significant financial security.

The prosecution submitted the offences, which are alleged to have taken place between the end of 2015 and mid-May 2016, were not “one off events” and that the defendant displayed “predatory behaviour” and a degree of planning.

“He isolated them, manipulated them, offered them lollies and put them in positions where they couldn’t get away,” the police prosecutor said.

“Now he is not just facing one victim. Three more children are saying he did very similar acts.”

Mr Thomas’ lawyer argued the fresh claims were only received after the school, which cannot be named for legal reasons, sent a letter to parents stating a staff member had been charged with a criminal offence that could have taken place at the school.

The defence contended there was a “distinct possibility of contamination or collusion” as the three victims all knew each other.

However, Magistrate Stephen Corry said it was “not unusual” for young children to delay making their complaints, pointing out the defendant is alleged to have told the victims “it’s between me and you”.

He is due to reappear at Penrith Local Court on August 26.

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