South Australian School Teacher Jailed

Published 07 May 2019 by Koffels Solicitors & Barristers

Former South Australian School Teacher Jailed for Abusing Students

Stephen John Hamra, a former primary school teacher at St Ignatius College and Christian Brothers College in South Australia has been found guilty of persistent sexual exploitation of a child and maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child between 1977 and 1982.

He was sentenced by Adelaide District Court Judge Paul Rice on the 4 April 2019. As such he received 12 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine years and seven months.

Mr Hamra grossly abused the trust of not only the two brothers he abused, but also their parents. Mr Harma befriended their parents at a social event. He was subsequently invited into the family home and was asked to tutor their middle son. Mr Harma subsequently abused two of the family’s three sons.

The ABC quoted survivor, Mr Trembath, as saying in his Victim Impact Statement that, “Upon reflection I have had the chance to think that it is the loss of human potential that disturbs me the most”.

This sentiment eloquently states one of the many feelings experienced by survivors of child sexual abuse. For many, that feeling of loss causes them to reflect on their legal options.

For those in South Australia who experienced sexual abuse as a child, a significant hurdle to legal action has recently been removed.

South Australia Removes Statute of Limitations on Compensation Claims for Child Abuse

In February 2019 South Australian Attorney-General Vickie Chapman, confirmed new laws had come into effect. These laws removed the statute of limitations on compensation claims for people who suffered abuse as children.

The South Australian Parliament voted in favour of the new laws. Correspondingly this occurred in September 2018. Notwithstanding it removes a major barrier for people who suffered sexual, serious physical or related psychological abuse as a child.

Previously, a person who was abused as a child had to make a claim by their 21st birthday. With the removal of this limitation a person can now make a claim for personal injury as a result of sexual, physical and mental abuse at any time in the past.

South Australia is one of the last states to remove time limits for child abuse compensation. Moreover the limitation periods have already been removed in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

If you are considering making a claim for compensation for historic child sexual, physical or psychological abuse and would like to explore your options, please contact [our experienced legal professionals] for a confidential consultation.

Sources

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-04/paedophile-teacher-sentenced-to-at-least-nine-years-jail/10970756

https://www.9news.com.au/national/adelaide-news-stephen-john-hamra-jailed-for-child-sex-abuse/f518887e-c8ce-4423-8fe4-a9ab63a9c927

https://premier.sa.gov.au/news/limitations-on-abuse-compensation-claims-removed

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-19/sa-removes-time-limits-for-child-abuse-compensation/10270016