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Teacher held for filming girls changing into revealing outfits

Melbourne: A drama teacher at an exclusive Melbourne girls’ school has been held for secretly filming three girls while they were changing into revealing clothes that he had given.

Prosecutor Susan Borg said the database at Lauriston Girls’ School contained photographs of all the students and Mark Robert Stratford used it to select one of the victims.

She told Judge Phillip Coish that Stratford, 49, hid a video camera under a desk in his office and the 11-year-old was told to come and see him.

“He asked the complainant to change out of her school uniform and into a skimpy short dress provided by him in full view of the camera,” the Herald Sun quoted Borg as saying.

The prosecutor said two other unknown underage female students were also filmed in the office using the video recorder.

An earlier court hearing was told that once the girls changed into the skimpy costumes Stratford would get them to perform scenes for a bogus play in which they had to crawl along the floor, climb a ladder or sleep on pillows.

The victims were concerned the costumes did not cover their underwear.

Stratford, of Brunswick, has pleaded guilty to single changes of producing child pornography, possessing child pornography and breaching the surveillance devices act.

Borg told the County Court pre-sentence plea hearing that Stratford was employed at Lauriston between 2005 and 2009 as director of drama and was responsible for all drama productions at the school.

She said that after a complaint was made to a teacher, police raided Stratford’s home and seized a school laptop, a tower computer, digital camera, external hard drive and memory cards.

On various devices police found 576 child pornography images and 18 movies including young children having sex with adults and containing images of a pre-pubescent girl handcuffed by her wrists and ankles.

The plea hearing before Judge Coish is continuing.

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