26 Feb 2019

Sex offender denies teaching music at Wellington school

6:45 pm on 26 February 2019

A convicted paedophile denies ever working for a group in Wellington that runs music lessons for children.

An empty primary school classroom.

Photo: 123rf

The Wellington Music Centre has suspended its weekend lessons at Island Bay School after admitting it did not run police checks on any tutors.

The group's organiser Kathy Kent told RNZ that about 18 months ago it briefly employed, as a reliever, a keyboard tutor named Stephen Shone.

There were concerns that a convicted sex offender may have been hired by the group because both share the same name.

An offender named Stephen Shone spent seven years in prison till 2016 for sexual offending against five teenage girls who were students of his.

He taught at a Gisborne school, ran piano lessons after hours and conducted a youth band.

In an email, Stephen Shone told RNZ he didn't live in the capital.

"I've never lived in Wellington, and have not been employed by the Wellington Music Centre," he emailed.

He has not answered questions about whether he is still doing any music tuition with children anywhere or if he had done any tutoring since his release.

Shone did not get any treatment or rehabilitation related to his offending while in prison, but the parole board said it was satisfied he was "no longer an undue risk to the safety of the community".

The school which had oversight of the music centre is still investigating. It has been telling families that if they wanted more information about the reliever, they could request this.

Police have been conducting inquiries to establish if any offence occurred. As of last Friday, they had not spoken to Mr Shone, and have not responded to RNZ's request for an update on the case.

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