A retired school teacher has been convicted of abusing a student in Armidale in the early 1980s.
Peter Alan Ball, 64, was living in Armidale and teaching at O'Connor Catholic College - where the victim was a student - in 1983, when the indecent assault took place.
He confessed to the assault in the mid 1990s when he was living in Victoria, but then he moved overseas until 2014, and was not charged until last year.
Ball had admitted his guilt to Victorian Police, from Malvern, in 1995 as a result of a request from Armidale Police. But he was not charged at the time and worked overseas in a teaching capacity from 1997 until 2014.
By then, the trauma of this event was recorded by the recent Child Abuse Royal Commission and police charged Ball last year after he had returned to Australia.
In Armidale Local Court last week, Ball's solicitor said his client had struggled with intimacy and relationships, and that he still carries regret and shame.
Magistrate Michael Holmes commented on the high standard of the Victorian Community Corrections and Community Safety court report "outlining criminal thinking distortions from conflict of sexual identity an religious environments".
Ball admitted his responsibility for betraying the trust that he held in a position of power as a teacher at the local school.
Magistrate Holmes deliberated overnight before handing down a comprehensive reason for sentencing Ball to a two-year community correctional order.
In his deliberations, Mr Holmes said it was a terrible breach of trust and the community had high expectations that this type of offence stops.
He also directed the Department of Public Prosecutions to refer the inaction of a 1995 confession by Ball to the NSW Professional Standards Command (PSC).