Former Moriah teacher jailed
Online child abuse

Former Moriah teacher jailed

Former Moriah College Head of English Cody Reynolds, 37, has been jailed for 18 months for possessing online child abuse material.

Cody Reynolds arrives at the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney, Thursday, April 6, 2023. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)
Cody Reynolds arrives at the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney, Thursday, April 6, 2023. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Former Moriah College Head of English Cody Reynolds has been jailed for 18 months after depraved images and videos of child abuse were found on multiple devices, including on his work-assigned laptop.

According to news reports, the downloaded videos on his devices included victims held at gunpoint and aged as young as two.

Sentencing Reynolds in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Thursday, Judge Phillip Mahony told the court the material was “depraved” and that it “included sadistic material where children are engaged in sexual activity under gunpoint”.

The court was told Reynolds used multiple aliases to share child abuse material with users through a concealed WhatsApp application, including an explicit conversation with a user called Xavier about “playing with young boys”.

“The offender transferred videos to a like-minded user encouraging their own gratification,” Justice Mahoney said.

“He deliberately used a sophisticated method, including end-to-end encryption, to minimise detection. He made conscious and deliberate decisions to offend,” the judge said. “I find that he did so for his own sexual gratification.”

The court heard more than 1100 images and 58 videos were found on Reynolds’ devices. Reynolds, 37, was first arrested and charged outside of his Kensington home in March 2022 and his employment at Moriah College was immediately terminated. There is no suggestion that any of the alleged offences occurred on school grounds or that any of the charges relate to online or in person contact with Moriah students.

Reynolds began teaching at the school at the beginning of 2021, having previously worked at Christian Brothers’ High School, Lewisham, the Scots College and Waverley College.

At the time of his arrest, Moriah sent a letter to parents stating Reynolds had been “recruited in line with our stringent employment policy, which includes thorough referencing and child safety vetting”.

He pleaded guilty to two child exploitation charges when he appeared in court in December 2022.

Justice Mahoney said Reynolds had “done everything” to seek out rehabilitation after being charged and that he “acknowledged in hindsight” the emotional harm that the offending had caused to children depicted in the videos.

The court was also told Reynolds had not met the criteria for a paedophilic disorder and cooperated with police following his arrest. Reynolds was sentenced to two years and 10 months in jail, with a non-parole period of one year and six months. He will be eligible for release in November 2024.

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