Former St Johns College Woodlawn teacher James Doran is standing trial on 37 child sex charges.
Former St Johns College Woodlawn teacher James Doran is standing trial on 37 child sex charges. Rodney Stevens

Teacher accused of child sex admits 'pinching arses'

ACCUSED child sex offender James Sampson Doran has denied having sex with a student in an abandoned room at St John's Woodlawn College, saying doing so in a consecrated building would be sacrilegious.

The former Lismore schoolteacher faces 37 charges stemming from claims he engaged in homosexual intercourse and other forms of sexual abuse with boys under his care during the 1980s.

He rejected Crown prosecutor Donna Daleo's suggestion he and a boy once went to French restaurant Paupiettes in Lismore for dinner and wine before visiting rooms behind the school chapel for more alcohol.

Ms Daleo alleged "you held his hand, you told him you loved him, you told him he was beautiful and you kissed him" before the two performed sex acts on each other.

"I did not, they were consecrated," Mr Doran denied loudly.

After noting the disused room was the "perfect location to go if you didn't want to be interrupted or found out", Ms Daleo suggested "it was irrelevant to you whether they were consecrated or not - you took him to that room to have sex with him".

"I'm not sacrilegious," Mr Doran countered.

The prosecution said six former students alleged Mr Doran had taken them on excursions and told them there was a mix-up with the beds when they arrived at their hotel, and they would have to share.

On another occasion after a graduation ceremony, Mr Doran took a student to a motel room, told him he loved him and would miss him and had sex with him, Ms Daleo suggested.

He took advantage of a boy who was having trouble fitting in - a boy whose mother he knew who - and engaged in sexual activity in the grounds around Woodlawn, Ms Daleo claimed.

Mr Doran rejected both allegations.

Sydney District Court Judge Robert Toner heard the former English teacher gave a police statement after he was arrested in 2014.

"I just can't believe this," he told police.

"I guess you leave yourself open when you muck around with the kids, tell a dirty joke and pinch their arse and stuff."

Mr Doran told the court the "mucking around" he referred to was just "banter, everyday normal talk" and suggested slapping a boy's backside was nothing out of the ordinary in the 1980s.

"It's a phrase, I may have pinched them... it was one of those things," he said.

"The boys used to drop brown eyes to us and then jump behind the trees."

He said the boys were bigger and tougher than him and "could have punched me in the head and put me down" if they felt anything was untoward.

Mr Doran's current address has been suppressed under order of the court.

Cross-examination will continue on Friday.


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