Sydney teacher charged after police allegedly find child abuse material on two phones and laptop
The former head of English at Moriah College in Sydney’s eastern suburbs has been granted bail after being charged with possessing and sharing child abuse material.
- Cody Michael Reynolds was granted bail despite opposition from the prosecution
- Child sex abuse material was allegedly found on two phones and a laptop
- The teacher’s employment at Moriah College was “no longer ongoing”, the court heard
Australian Federal Police arrested Cody Michael Reynolds at his Kensington home yesterday, where they allegedly found child abuse material on two mobile phones and a laptop.
He was charged with several counts of possessing child abuse material and using a carriage service to transmit, publish and promote child abuse.
The 36-year-old appeared in Central Local Court today via audio-visual link from the Sydney Police Centre at Surry Hills.
No plea was entered however his lawyer, Ryan Coffey, put forward an application for bail.
While this was opposed by the prosecution, bail was ultimately granted with strict conditions.
The prosecution raised three main concerns in relation to bail, namely that the defendant could “present a danger to children at large in the community” and the fact he lives close to a primary school.
They also flagged the potential for the defendant to “remotely access and destroy evidence” from digital storage platforms and “delete material preventing further investigation.”
Prosecutors highlighted a conversation allegedly found on one of Mr Reynolds’s devices, in which they said he asked an unidentified person about his age preference regarding young boys.
The court was told that some of the devices seized by police had a “very large capacity for storage”, to which Mr Coffey replied that his client had “admitted to possessing the various electronic devices, but no more.”
He also said his client was currently receiving treatment for depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, for which he is being medicated.
While Magistrate John Favretto acknowledged the prosecution’s concerns, he said they could be managed and the defendant presented “no flight risk.”
He reasoned that the defendant had been a teacher for 10 years and that in this time had no offences recorded involving children.
He also raised the lengthy time involved in moving to trial, regardless of the eventual plea, as well as ongoing issues related to COVID-19.
Several bail conditions were imposed, including for the defendant not to be in the company of anyone under the age of 18 years, to reside at a different address, to report daily to police and for his passport to be surrendered.
He has been allowed to retain his mobile phone and access to an email account for the purposes of “legal communication” with details of each to be provided to police.
If found guilty, Mr Reynolds could spend more than a decade behind bars.
Earlier, police said he was identified as a result of an analysis of data seized during the arrest of a man on Sydney’s Lower North Shore last month.
Mr Coffey told the court that as of this morning his client’s employment at Moriah College, where he had worked as an English teacher for the past 18 months, was “no longer ongoing”.
The matter returns to court in May.