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Sex act upsets schoolgirls

By Hayley Gastmeier
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A Masterton school principal is outraged that a man performed a sex act in his car in front of a group of girls making their way to school on Friday.

Five students had been walking along Pownall St about 8.30am when three of them, aged 11 and 12, happened to glance into the open window of a parked vehicle, witnessing a man behaving indecently.

Russell Thompson, principal of Masterton Intermediate School, said he was “absolutely furious” about the matter.

“I would love to catch the guy and get my hands around his neck. I’m just furious that some dirty, filthy mongrel dares to think they can do that near my school.”

Mr Thompson said he was very proud of the girls, who immediately came to him to report the incident.

The trio had been “upset” and “disgusted” by what they had seen.

“Eleven, 12 year olds, they don’t have to witness that rubbish… no one has to put up with that.”

While waiting for the police to arrive, Mr Thompson asked the girls to write individual accounts of what happened.

“There was to be no discussion – they had to write down exactly what they saw – so they didn’t have a chance to concoct any stories.”

He said police had arrived at the school “within five minutes of the phone call” and had dealt with the shaken girls “very well”.

Mr Thompson said in light of yesterday’s incident, and another in Carterton on Monday when a child was approached by a man in a white van, it was time to “be a bit more vigilant” when dropping children to and from school.

“We’re saying to our kids [at MIS] to make sure they walk in groups of two or three, to make sure they do go straight home, and that they don’t go wandering off .”

At next week’s assembly he would be delivering a “sermon” to teach children “observational skills” to keep them safe in situations like the two of late in Wairarapa.

Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton said he had been impressed with the actions of the girls involved.

“The kids have done well. They saw something that concerned them, they went straight into the school and told a responsible adult.”

A description of the vehicle and the man has been given to police by the children.

“We’re working particularly hard to identify the vehicle and the occupant,” Mr Sutton said.

“There’s no reason to believe there is significant danger or risk to the community but we are investigating this thoroughly.”

Police said they would not release details of the vehicle until such time they had spoken with all three school girls individually.

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