Fairfax continues their revelations of the creepy sexual predator and school teacher Robert Burrett.
Robert Burrett probably never planned to be working as a caretaker and taxi driver at age 62.
He had followed his father Noel into teaching, starting his career in 1974 in a tough Auckland school catering for a poor, state-house community. Like most young teachers he would have had high hopes.
Despite some severe professional and personal shortcomings, he eventually landed senior roles in small rural North Island schools rising to the role of principal. But from 2001, his rocky career was spiralling downwards.
That last sentence right there highlights an systemic issue in the education system of protecting the incompetent, the useless and a deviant.
Nevertheless, 40 years after graduating, he was still in the school system and again working at a school catering for a poor, state-house community, this time in Christchurch. Although he was still a registered teacher, he was now a caretaker and, on the side, he drove a taxi bus transporting disabled children to school.
As a caretaker and driver he had new opportunities for gratification. The Christchurch school had a boiler room and a separate caretaker’s shed which he fitted with curtains and locks. The boiler room looked like a normal garage but the diesel boiler was about two metres below ground level in a concrete basement. It had frosted glass windows and seven wooden steps led to the boiler room floor where he molested three girls.
The shed, however, was a more dangerous lair. He put in a TV and behind the curtains and the locked door he showed girls pornographic videos. Using a video camera to record his indecencies, he then replayed the footage to his victims. He played sexual games with them.