A Christchurch teacher's dirty secret

JOELLE DALLY AND DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2013
Douglas Martin
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
SENTENCED: Former Lincoln High School assistant principal Douglas Martin.

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Douglas Haora Martin seemed to be everything a high school could want in a senior teacher - responsible, trustworthy and respected by staff and pupils alike.

But behind the impeccable schooling career and glowing references was a dirty secret.

Yesterday, Martin was named as the teacher who made secret up-skirt videos on 17 unsuspecting victims in and around Christchurch.

The former Lincoln High School assistant principal abandoned his appeal to the High Court to keep his name secret, and the suppression order lapsed.

Martin, 57, admitted in January to making 20 up-skirt videos using a small hand-held recorder.

The recordings were made over several months last year.

Police seized his computer after he was caught making a recording in the food-court area at the Westfield Riccarton mall, and then laid the 20 charges.

Some suppressions continue to apply in the case, but all victims have been contacted by police.

Lincoln High School principal Linda Tame said she was "outraged and angry" by his behaviour.

Martin was suspended from his job after his arrest and resigned on January 24.

Martin started at Lincoln High School as a teacher in 2000, was appointed assistant principal in 2004 and had "outstanding references" and was "highly respected" in the school and community.

"There were no red flags," Tame said.

Learning of Martin's offending - "an immense breach of trust" - sparked a review of staff vetting processes, which were found to be rigorous. Only "time will tell" how much damage had been done to the school's reputation, she said.

Parents spoken to by The Press said Martin was "a bad apple" and it had not put them off the school.

One woman with a daughter at the school said Martin should have been publicly named "a long time ago".

A father with sons at the school said: "She [Tame] doesn't need to worry about the reputation, though parents of girls at the school might have a different view."

Students said rumours about Martin started circulating on social media websites in January.

"Everyone assumed it was him [but] finding out it was actually him was a shock," Kayti Carrick said.

Bethany Hampton said most students respected him, while Kaija Rollinson said because Martin was "high up" in the school it had been a big surprise.

Martin is on bail and is due to be sentenced on April 18. He will go before a New Zealand Teachers' Council disciplinary tribunal this month.

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Council director Peter Lind said any case where serious misconduct of a sexual nature was proved usually resulted in a teacher being struck off.

- The Press

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