Deputy principal Damien Wanstall’s terrifying texts ask ’14-year-old’ for ‘sexy play’ – as judge rejects his last-ditch bid for freedom
Ex-vice principal tries to defend messages to ‘teen’ claiming he was trying to make ex-girlfriend jealous of him
A horrified school vice principal texted what he thought was a 14-year-old girl offering to pay him for sex and explicit images.
Damian Scott Wanstall, 49, is seeking to avoid a full-time jail sentence after pleading guilty to one count of using a carriage service to procure a child under the age of 16 for sexual activity.
He was picked up by the secret police on December 7, 2020, after posting an online classified ad with the headline: ‘Any legal Indian or Philo teenagers wanted fun.’
The ad read: ’40 year old Aussie dad looking for sexy play this weekend.’ will reward Can discreetly host Rouse Hill.’
A court has rejected a defense by former deputy principal Damien Wanstall (pictured) who argued he was texting the 14-year-old to make his ex-girlfriend jealous.
At a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, defense barrister Nicholas Baltinos argued that Wanstall had posted the ad in an ‘absurd’ attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend.
‘We have seen it in this court. Very smart people, highly intelligent people with high IQs, pillars of society, do ridiculous things,’ he told Parramatta District Court.
Judge Andrew Colfax was not convinced, calling Wanstall’s explanation ‘disgraceful’ and lamenting that in his 14 years’ experience, people accused of child sex offenses rarely admitted they were attracted to children.
‘A recurring theme… can’t these people face the fact that they often come up with bizarre explanations for themselves as to why they did what they did,’ he said.
Wanstall did more than just advertise, the judge noted, also engaging in highly sexualized chats with a 14-year-old, arranging a meet-up and then leaving with $200 in his pocket.
‘How does one sit with her explanation that she placed the ad to make her ex-partner jealous?’ he asked.
According to affidavits seen by the AAP, Wanstall chatted with the ‘teen’ about sexual activity, asked about her bra size and offered $300 for ‘a few hours of fun’.
‘It will be good. Better to explore with an experienced (sic) guy,’ he wrote.
Calling himself ‘Mick’ and describing himself as Richard Gere and Mark Harmon with ‘Dad Bod’, the former Kellyville High School vice-principal suggested they meet on a quiet road in his 4WD with tinted windows.
He also chatted about Disney princesses and asked for pictures of the alleged teenager’s ‘unrealistic’ bathroom.
He wrote, ‘Think your clothes (school) are not uniform.
‘So it looks less suss. Maybe an extra pair of knickers (sic) too.’
Wanstall is aiming for a reduced sentence served outside prison, saying extensive media coverage of the case has embarrassed him and denied him the presumption of innocence.
Judge Andrew Colfax described the defense’s efforts as ‘absurd’, pointing out that Wanstall (pictured) had walked into a meet-up point with $200 in his pocket.
Mr Baltinos also pointed to his client’s age, unblemished record and work ethic, saying the chats were just an out-of-character ‘one off’ while the 49-year-old was drinking excessively.
Police found no images or videos of child abuse on the former teacher’s phone or computer, and there was no evidence of his involvement with a criminal gang that distributed such material.
Wanstall’s mother, who sat in court for the hearing, would suffer if her son was sent to prison, Mr Baltinos told the court.
‘He was very proud of his son for what he had achieved over a period of almost 20 years and he threw it all away,’ he said.
The hearing continues.
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