A former teacher at one of Sydney’s most prestigious schools has been jailed for sexually abusing a teenage boy.
Damien Piers Vance, 65, then 32, lured the 16-year-old boy by offering him a cigarette and a ‘safe’ place to smoke before performing perform oral sex on the child at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga in 1986.
The disgraced former teacher was sentenced at Downing Centre District Court on Friday to a maximum of four years and six months in prison, with a non-parole period of one year 11 months.
Knox Grammar School was involved in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in 2015 after several allegations emerged concerning teachers allegedly sexually assaulting students.
Damien Piers Vance (pictured), 65, then 32, lured the 16-year-old boy by offering him a cigarette and a ‘safe’ place to smoke and proceeded to perform oral sex on the child until he ejaculated at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga in 1986
As Judge Kara Shead handed down her verdict, she described the assault as a ‘depraved’ act of sexual gratification by a man who had ‘power and control’ over his victim, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The gallery watched, including the victim, as Vance sat motionless while Judge Shead recounted the ordeal.
The victim was under Vance’s care in the school’s compulsory cadet program.
He caught the teen smoking with friends on the ground and sometime later, he offered to show the victim a private place to smoke located under the school chapel, which Vance had the keys to.
Once he lured the child into the shed, Vance asked him if he ever masturbated.
‘Everyone does it. I do it every day, sometimes more,’ the court heard he told the victim.
Vance refused to turn the lights on and touched the boy’s pants before they left.
The disgraced former teacher was sentenced at Downing Centre District Court on Friday to a maximum of four years and six months in prison, with a non-parole period of one year 11 months
The following week, Vance lured the boy to the shed again and unzipped the victim’s pants and massaged his penis.
The court heard the boy’s penis became erect uncontrollably which left him confused and frozen.
Vance proceeded to perform oral sex on the child until he ejaculated.
‘Mm, that was nice,’ the court heard Vance said.
A victim statement read to the court revealed the child felt shame and for many years, believe he could contract a disease.
He struggled with PTSD, deep depression, and alcohol abuse in the decades since the assault and did not disclose it until 2017.
The Knox Grammar School was at the centre of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in 2015 after several allegations emerged of teachers sexually assaulting students
During the Royal Commission in 2015, former Knox Grammar headmaster Ian Paterson was questioned about multiple alleged sexual assaults that occurred during his 30 years in charge.
Vance was also convicted in 2009 for inciting an act of indecency towards a 14-year-old Knox student in 1987 who described being led to the same shed and being encouraged to masturbate, but left the room.
The student who was approached by Vance in 1987 reported the incident to Dr Paterson and the victim was told to sit in the library while he investigated.
‘The boy was a drama boy,’ he told the commission, prompting people in the hearing room to groan.
‘He was known as a rather dramatic boy who could build up situations and it was for that reason, knowing him that I did, that I asked him to think about what he said.’
Asked if he thought the boy made it up, Dr Paterson said: ‘I was not clear at the time’.
Dr Paterson said he did not accept that his response was inappropriate.
Dr Paterson added that he called Vance into his office about the allegations, where Vance admitted they were true but he did not think it was a matter for police.
‘No I’m not aware that that was a matter for police or a crime,’ Dr Paterson said.
Vance resigned from the school in 1989, and Dr Paterson wrote him a reference and officially recorded that he was resigning to deal with matters relating to his late father’s estate.
Dr Paterson accepted the real reason was because of Vance’s admission that he touched and propositioned the victim.