'Horny' teacher jailed for sex offence

Thurgoona’s Paul Mills outside of court last year.
Thurgoona’s Paul Mills outside of court last year.

A FORMER Albury teacher, who called himself “Mick Horny” and made sexually suggestive online comments to a girl, 14, has been jailed until November next year.

Paul Edward Mills, who taught music at Murray High School, was sentenced by District Court judge Colin Charteris.

He had pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to procure a person under 16, using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to someone under 16 and having child abuse material.

Mills, of Thurgoona, was jailed for from nine to 24 months and will be in prison until at least November 23, next year.

He will have to remain of good behaviour for 3½ years as part of the sentence.

Mills, 46, had been on bail until May 24 and was sentenced in Sydney last Thursday.

He had pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court on February 19.

Mills was suspended that day without pay by the Education Department and was fired the following day and put on a list stating he should not be employed again.

He had been removed from the school and classrooms as soon as the original charges were laid.

An Education Department spokesman said Mills’ performance and conduct had not previously been subject to suspicion.

Mills had been caught after a tip-off from US detectives examining an “inappropriate conversation” with a girl, 15, in Illinois.

Officers from the child exploitation unit posed as a sexually naive girl, 14, and began online communications with Mills.

Mills used the social network name “Mick Horny” and his profile picture was a penis.

He asked sexually inappropriate and explicit questions online during a series of recorded conversations.

They included Mills making sexual instructions to the girl and highly inappropriate comments.

Officers from the child exploitation internet unit went to Mills’ home at 6.50am on July 9 last year with a search warrant and arrested him.

He was found to have child pornography with images of children as young as three.

Mills made full admissions about what he had done but claimed he thought 14 was legal.