Former Dilworth housemaster and teacher Robert Howard Gladwin Wynyard appears at the High Court in Auckland for sentencing.
A former Dilworth housemaster and teacher is asking the Court to give him a total of 50% in discounts off his sentence which would make him eligible for parole in six months’ time.
Robert Howard Gladwin Wynyard was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for sexually abusing boys in his care when he appeared at the High Court in Auckland in February.
The 74-year-old pleaded guilty to 11 indecent assault charges, some of which date back to the 1980s.
On Monday, his case was called at the Court of Appeal, where his lawyer Justin Harder said the starting point was too high when compared to other cases and there had not been enough discounts applied for age and remorse.
Much of his argument centred on the maximum penalty for one of the offences, which changed over the decades of Wynyard’s offending.
The Crown prosecutor Jacob Barry said Wynyard was asking the court to give him a total discount of 50% for offending against eight vulnerable boys.
“Mr Wynyard seeks an end sentence of three to four years. He is effectively asking to be eligible for parole in six months’ time…
“If one steps back… Instinctively, it doesn’t feel right.”
Justice Edwin Wylie, Rebecca Ellis and Gerard van Bohemen have reserved their decision.
At Wynyard’s sentencing, Justice Moore spoke of the vulnerability of the boys abused by their former teacher and housemaster.
He said Dilworth had a history of taking boys from disadvantaged backgrounds. He then quoted from Justice Kit Toogood’s sentencing notes of Dilworth’s former chaplain, Ross Browne.
“To the extent that Dilworth was intended to provide some kind of sanctuary for boys experiencing difficulties at home, your behaviour operated to achieve precisely the opposite effect.”
Justice Moore started with a sentence of 10 years and six months but reduced that after taking into account a range of factors including remorse, reparation payments and guilty pleas before trial.
Court documents released to Stuff show Wynyard sexually abused some of the boys in his classroom. On one occasion he asked a boy to stay behind after class and help him tidy up.
Wynyard abused the boy as he stood on a ladder or desk to reach a high shelf and stack textbooks.
He targeted other boys in the dormitory in one of the boarding houses where he was housemaster, and attacked another in the phone room.
The teacher also admitted sexually abusing two other boys in the 2000s, after leaving Dilworth.
Some survivors contacted police after media coverage of court cases involving other former Dilworth staff.
The summary of facts said while none of the survivors were physically injured, the “psychological damage for many has been irreparable”.
Wynyard taught in Britain before returning to New Zealand and starting at Dilworth in 1977.
The Dilworth Legacy book, commemorating the school’s centenary, records that he took over as housemaster of MacMurray from Rex McIntosh.
McIntosh also faced child sex abuse charges but died before his case made it to trial.
The book does not record where Wynyard went or why he resigned.
Wynyard faced allegations back in 1997. The case made it to trial but was dismissed after the survivor gave evidence.
It is unclear why the case was dismissed, as parts of the court file have been lost.