A deputy principal questioned whether a 14-year-old girl was ‘too young’ for him before agreeing to pay her $300 for a ‘few hours of fun’, a court has head.
The ‘teenage girl’ in question was actually detectives from the New South Wales police force, who responded to an advert Damian Wanstall allegedly placed on classified services website Locanto back in early December.
The 47-year-old deputy principal at Kellyville High School in Sydney’s west was arrested last Monday at a location where he had allegedly agreed to meet the teen in Westmead.
Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday heard new details about the conversations Wanstall allegedly had with officers while they were masquerading as the teenager.
According to police, Wanstall allegedly posted an advertisement on the website which read: ‘Any legal Indian of Filo teens want fun.’
Wanstall was granted bail in court on Tuesday after spending eight days behind bars
Wanstall allegedly posted an advertisement on the website which read: ‘Any legal Indian of Filo teens want fun’
Wanstall had allegedly been chatting to a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl on online classified site Locanto – which is regularly used by sex workers – and told her the sex acts he had planned to perform
”40yo Aussie daddy seeking sexy play this weekend. Will reward. Can house discretely at Rouse Hill.’
Police allegedly responded to the online ad by stating ‘I’m 14, is that okay?’, the court was told.
Wanstall initially replied ‘maybe a bit too young’ before asking her to send naked photographs of herself, police will allege.
The conversation then allegedly shifted to discussing sex acts he wished to perform and culminated in him offering $300 for ‘a few hours’ fun’.
Wanstall was granted bail in court on Tuesday after spending eight days behind bars, and must stay with his mother at her Blue Mountains home as part of strict release conditions.
Wanstall (left) must stay with his mother at her Blue Mountains home as part of strict release conditions
Wanstall is charged with one count of using a carriage service to procure a child under 16 for sexual activity, and one count of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material
Wanstall was the deputy principal at Kellyville High School (pictured) for more than a decade
Wanstall was granted bail in court (court sketch pictured)on Tuesday after spending eight days behind bars
He was pictured on his way out of Silverwater Correctional Facility wearing the same long sleeve blue button down shirt he wore when he was arrested.
His lawyer Darren Emery argued Wanstall could have very well been the victim in the sting.
He said police had misled ‘this poor man’ and ‘respected’ teacher by responding to the advert in the first place, and accused them of distorting the truth by omitting the word ‘legal’ from his ad when it was tendered to the court.
He argued the omission of the single word changed ‘the whole nature of the case’.
The court also heard Wanstall was lucky police were waiting for him at the scene and not thugs who had responded to the ad.
Wanstall was pictured on his way out of Silverwater Correctional Facility wearing the same long sleeve blue button down shirt he wore when he was arrested
Damian Scott Wanstall, 47, was charged with trying to procure a 14-year-old girl for sex
Mr Emery said his client fully intended to ‘check the girl’s age’ when he met her, and could have left the scene if he determined she was in fact under age.
‘None of these people know who they will meet in the end,’ he said.
‘In my client’s case it was lucky it was detectives. It could have been a female person with a number of males ready to rob him.’
Following his arrest, Wanstall was charged with using a carriage service to procure a child under 16 years for sexual activity and using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material.
He appeared via video link wearing prison greens and glasses as the facts were presented to the court.
Police prosecutor Emily Burr implored with the magistrate to oppose bail, arguing that Wanstall engaged in sexually explicit conversations for days prior to agreeing to meet.
‘This is clearly brazen offending committed while he was a person in a position of responsibility in the community and in regular contact with children,’ she said.
The court heard Wanstall has since been formally suspended by the Department of Education and cannot step foot on his former school.
He will next appear in court on February 12, 2021.
His lawyer Darren Emery argued Wanstall (left) could have very well been the victim in the sting
Kellyville High School acting principal Mark Burnard assured parents that Wanstall (pictured on holiday in New Zealand) had been removed from duties ‘to manage any risk to students’
KELLYVILLE HIGH SCHOOL PARENTS TOLD TO SPEAK WITH THEIR CHILDREN
Parents at Kellyville High School were last week urged to talk to their children about their encounters with him, amid fears there may be more potential alleged victims.
In a letter to all parents, acting principal Mark Mr Burnard said his former deputy – who is also a maths teacher – had been stood down ‘immediately’.
He also urged parents to call local police if their children told them they had been ‘subject to or witness (to) any potential offences’ at the hands of Wanstall.
‘You may be aware that a person was charged this week with a number of criminal offences that are child related,’ the letter read.
‘I can confirm that the person who is the subject of the police matter is a Deputy Principal at our school, however they are no long undertaking their duties.
‘In circumstances such as these, departmental employees are immediately removed from their duties in order to manage any risk to students.
‘It is possible your son or daughter, or a child under your care was a student of the teacher.
‘If your child discloses they have been subject to or witnessed any potential offences committed by this person it is requested that you contact Castle Hill Police station.’
Parents at Kellyville High School were sent this letter by acting principal Mark Burnard the day after Wanstall’s arrest, urging them to ask their children about their encounters with him