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Australia Townsville primary school principal Justen Orford arrested over alleged child exploitation offences

18:36  01 august  2021
18:36  01 august  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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a sign on the side of a building: Townsville Catholic Education immediately suspended Justen Orford and have been working with Queensland police since that time. (ABC News) © Provided by ABC NEWS Townsville Catholic Education immediately suspended Justen Orford and have been working with Queensland police since that time. (ABC News)

A North Queensland primary school principal has been arrested for a number of alleged child exploitation offences.

Justen Orford was stood down from his position at St Joseph's Catholic School in Mundingburra when questions were raised regarding his conduct.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles said Townsville Catholic Education immediately suspended Mr Orford and it had since been working with Queensland police.

"This is an individual who was extremely revered by the school community, he has been held up on a pillar and certainly this will come as somewhat of a shock to the entire community," he said.

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The 47-year-old has been charged with a number of offences, including eight counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, three counts of making child exploitation material, and possessing child exploitation material.

"There's a considerable number of charges that will be preferred this evening after the finalisation of our review of the all the evidence we seized today," Detective Sergeant Miles said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Miles said Mr Orford had been in a position of trust.

"It's quite disappointing but as our work tells us these people exist in our community across every occupation and every social setting," he said.

Student safety of 'paramount importance'

Townsville Catholic Education executive director Jacqui Francis said they anticipated the principal's teacher registration would be suspended, pending determination of the charges through the criminal court system.

"The safety and wellbeing of our students is of paramount importance in the school and all of our other schools," she said.

"Townsville Catholic Education takes student protection very seriously.

"Consistent with that, we have a dedicated student protection team, which implements and enforces our documented child protection framework."

Mr Orford has been refused bail and will front the Townsville Magistrates Court tomorrow.

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This is interesting!