Ex-deputy principal sex offence sentencing delayed
A former Sydney deputy principal caught attempting to groom a teenage girl for sex has been warned to tighten up his "shambolic" sentencing submissions or he could face a harsher sentence.
Initially denying any wrongdoing, Damian Scott Wanstall, 49, pleaded guilty in September 2022 to using a carriage service to procure a child under 16 for sexual activity, just over three weeks before a criminal trial was due to begin.
However, Wanstall's legal team has had a string of mishaps preparing for sentencing, involving a wayward psychologist and an overly large pack of documents.
"Once those shambolic materials had been put into something resembling an ordered fashion, the quantity of material for a straightforward matter reached approximately three inches," Judge Andrew Colefax said at Parramatta District Court on Friday.
"I will not be reading that in my own time, it will be in the parties' time."
The ex-Kellyville High School deputy principal has since changed legal teams but they were warned to clean up their conduct if he wants a softer sentence.
"The discount of a (guilty) plea can be diminished by the manner in which sentencing hearings are conducted," Judge Colefax said.
"You're on notice about that."
Crown lawyers suggested they return for sentencing in September after the judge said it would take two days for the court to go through all the submissions.
"You mean in another four months? Seriously? No," Judge Colefax said
"It would be an affront to the administration of justice in adjourning this matter for another four months."
Wanstall was sprung by undercover police in December 2020 after posting an online classified advertisement on Locanto under the heading "Any legal Indian or Filo teens want fun".
The ad read: "Aussie daddy seeking sexy play this weekend. Will reward. Can host discreetly Rouse Hill."
Engaging with an undercover police officer claiming to be a 14-year-old girl, the Faulconbridge man offered to pay for a "few hours of fun" and was arrested with $200 at a meet-up in Westmead in December 2020.
The sentencing hearing was pushed back to July 24.