Illawarra teacher to appeal child porn conviction

Peter Wouters

Peter Wouters

A Wollongong teacher convicted of child pornography charges on Wednesday will challenge his two-year jail sentence.

Peter Wouters was ordered to spend at least 12 months behind bars after pleading guilty to possessing 167 child porn images and videos, uncovered by police on a computer at his Figtree home in September last year.

A sample of 167 illegal pictures was taken and categorised according to the court's system for classifying child abuse material.

Fifteen of the images were classed as "category four" - the second-most serious classification.

There were 19 illegal videos, 14 containing category four material.

Wouters' lawyer, Aaron Kernaghan, at the time urged the presiding magistrate, Geraldine Beattie, to consider suspending Wouter's jail term, saying his client had admitted his guilt early, had a clean criminal history and good prospects for rehabilitation.

Ms Beattie refused the request, saying that Wouters' behaviour demanded a full-time prison sentence.

The former St Mary Star of the Sea music teacher wept into his hands as the jail term was pronounced, telling his wife, "I'm so sorry" as the two hugged before he was led away.

Outside the court, Mr Kernaghan indicated that Wouters would appeal against the decision.

Wouters appeared again in court on Thursday, this time seeking to be released on bail while awaiting the outcome of the appeal, which has been set down for a hearing in Wollongong District Court next month.

But Ms Beattie refused to release Wouters from custody, meaning he will remain behind bars until the appeal date, when he will be brought to the courthouse by Corrective Services personnel.

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