By Sam Hurley

Ian Ross McKinney, 70, was sentenced today in the North Shore District Court for the indecent assault of two male students, aged 16 and 24 at the time of the offending.

According to online profiles, the Devonport man taught at the New Zealand Institute of Education, an institution which teaches students business skills and provides English-language tuition.

McKinney had pleaded guilty to the offending which occurred at his home at three different times between January 28 and June 28 last year.

A teacher since 1967, McKinney regularly had international students staying with him at his North Shore home, the court heard.

The first victim arrived in January last year to stay with the elderly man, while the second victim, an Indonesian national, stayed with McKinney from June 5 to June 28 last year.

After the first victim moved in, the teacher entered the student’s room wearing nothing but a singlet and underwear.

He then began hugging the student, with McKinney’s genitals touching the lower half of his body. And on another occasion McKinney entered the room while the student was sleeping.

Again wearing only a singlet and underpants, McKinney began spooning the student with his genitals pushed against the student’s bottom and thigh.

The student then woke and realised he was being “cuddled” by the teacher, the court heard.

In February last year, police warned McKinney that he needed to be “careful” about his interactions with students, however, it didn’t stop him from again offending later in the year.

McKinney’s second victim was walking down the hallway of the home when the teacher, again dressed in little clothing, began stroking the student’s bottom.

Uncomfortable and embarrassed, the student didn’t say anything.

Judge Sanjay Patel said there was a degree of planning involved, “in that you stripped down before engaging in your offending”.

He said McKinney “craved emotional connection” after an “emotionally cold” upbringing, but showed a “lack of insight into boundaries”.

When sentencing him to four months’ home detention the judge ordered McKinney to undergo any recommended treatment and prevented him from having any international students under the age of 25 as guests at his home.

In explanation, McKinney said he would “hug and hold all [his] students so they should feel comfortable about their new environment”.

He said it was part of his “caring and compassionate nature”, the court heard.

“As a result of what’s happened he has basically blemished his record so he is no longer able to pursue a lifelong passion,” McKinney’s lawyer Adam Couchman said. “He’s undone a lifetime of work.”

McKinney had no previous convictions and, prior to his offending, an “absolutely unblemished record” as a teacher, his lawyer said.

McKinney declined to comment when approached by the Herald outside court.

Source: NZ Herald

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