Police seek former teacher charged with child sex offences

A WARRANT has been issued for the arrest of a 74-year-old former Woodlawn school teacher charged with 36 historic child sex offences after he failed to appear in court yesterday.

At Lismore Local Court, Magistrate David Heilpern revoked Richard O'Connor's conditional bail and ordered the East Lismore man's arrest.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Locke said police officers were aware of Mr O'Connor's whereabouts and would be searching for him to bring him before the court.

Magistrate Heilpern said he wanted to proceed before the court closed at 4.30pm, but Mr O'Connor was unable to be found.

Details of Mr O'Connor's alleged crimes show the charges relate to incidents police believe occurred between 1982 and 1986.

It is understood nine victims, all boys, were allegedly sexually abused at St John's College Woodlawn, which was a boarding school for many years.

One victim was linked to 22 of the charges over several years.

Mr O'Connor faces a total of 36 charges, including 23 counts of sexual assault category 4 - indecent assault and act of indecency on persons under 16, 12 counts of sexual assault category 3 - sexual intercourse without consent on persons under 16 and one count of assault occasioning bodily harm.

The teacher's first listed charge dates back to 1982 and involves alleged inappropriate touching and sexually explicit discussion in a boy's room.

Prosecutor Sgt Locke said two "persons of interest" had been waiting in the court.

Mr O'Connor was arrested on June 4 at Dibbs St, Lismore, after investigation Strike Force Golvo heard complaints of sexual and indecent assault against students at the school.


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